Whether your clothes are brand new or you have done some dyeing, it is important to set the color. This guide is about setting clothing dye.
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Here are questions related to Setting Dye on Clothing and Fabric.
How do I set the dye for my new pants that are blue? A friend bought the same outfit and said when she rinsed the pants there was alot of color in the water. Should I do the top also, it is shaded in blue colors?
By Ann (Guest Post)07/27/2005
I usually wash all of my new clothes in salt. I add about 1/2 box of table salt to the washer, use cold water and let it run through the cycle. I usually wash several items at the same time and have had no problems. I then rewash the item with other clothes using Tide.
Does anyone know the best way to keep the dye set after doing home Tie-dye t-shirts? I've heard something about salt and something about vinegar. Any other ideas? If using salt or vinegar, how do I use them?
Thanks for input!
Rebecca from IA
In home-ec (30 years ago and then some) we were taught to use salt and vinegar in a cold rinse cycle then lay flat to dry after dying. After than, always wash in cold.
How do you set dye in a silk garment? I would like to use old thin silk blouses to make a quilt. Some of them just run and run every time I wash them. What kind of dye does the manufacturers use for these silks? I have tried white vinegar, but it didn't work. Will the dryer or ironing help set it?
By Gorius from Gilroy, CA
Update on original question: These are handkerchief silk garments that are commercially dyed. I have no idea what they use for dye. Do you mean that I should use the vinegar/water recipe and heat the water with the garment in the water? I tried soaking one of them in straight vinegar overnight, but only got pink vinegar. Rinsed several times after the vinegar, but it still bleeds.
My niece bought me a homemade swimsuit cover from Cuba. It's red with cream knit edging. When I put it on the red stained my skin right away. What can I do to stop the red from going on to my skin? It's a beautiful top and I don't want to ruin it. Please help.
By Marty Dick02/03/2012
I always use a cold water and salt rinse. I am 75 and when I was a little kid not all "yard goods" were color fast so Mama always rinsed new fabric in cold salt water to set the dye. You can also use cold water and vinegar.
Is there anything you can use before washing red clothing so it will not bleed afterward?
By Lisa from Grand Rapids, MN
Put the item(s) in the dryer for a cycle-the heat should help set the color. Also, when you wash the item, use cold water and add about a half a cup of salt to the water. Red is a toughie though, there are no guarantees-sorry.
Does anyone know how to stop color bleeding from clothes when washing them. Is there any way to stabilize the colored fabric so it will no longer run? Hoping someone has answer for me and thanks in advance if you do.
Dinnie from Tampa
By Gram 2 (Guest Post)12/14/2008
By soaking in salt water or vinager will it keep the fabric color from rubbing off on to another color while you are wearing it?
I recently bought a red cardigan and when I wore it, it transferred the red dye onto my white t-shirt. I have managed to remove the red dye from the t- shirt, but I am wondering is there a way I can stabilise the dye in the cardigan to prevent it transferring to my other clothing when worn together.
By Chris P.04/16/2013
Add 1 cup salt to a washer full of cold water, soak item by itself overnight, then wash by itself. Should not "bleed" color after that.
What can I use to set the dye on a purchased skirt so I can wash it safely?
By Stella Bella05/02/2013
I've heard that soaking it in cold water and salt works. Also I've heard the same for 1 cup of vinegar in cold water. But these methods may not work on cottons.
Rit sells a dye fixative. Maybe try the salt or vinegar, if the fabric still bleeds look into getting a dye fixative.
I brought a pair of flannelette sheets, they have been washed twice.
When you sweat at night the dye comes out on your skin. Any idea how to stop it?
By Val S from Deception Bay, Qld
By Louise B.06/14/2013
There is no need to return the sheets. Do as others have suggested and wash them in hot water with vinegar. I would add several cups, because when people dye things, they use a ratio of at least one cup of vinegar to 8 cups of water. You can also purchase products to set dye where you find fabric dyes. You may have to do the vinegar wash a couple of times.
I used Jacquard brand of tie dye for my swimming suit. I've had it sitting for 15 hours. I tried to rinse a small part of it and it seems the dye is coming right out. Is there something I didn't do right? Should I use salt or vinegar when I rinse? Please help!
Most of the Jacquard brand of dyes require heat or chemical setting. Check the package directions. Some color will come out even after treatment. It may be as simple as putting the suit in the dryer to heat treat it. Also be aware not all dyes work on all fabrics.
The colour of my new tie dye dress bleeds on my skin, how do I fix it?
How do you keep the colour in the shirt when you wash it? Is there something you can spray on it to hold it in the fabric?
By Ellen S
By Louise B.07/23/2013
Also, wash it in cold water; that helps prevent colors running, although sometimes I have found that there is nothing to be done!
How do I set berry dyed fabric? I used gooseberry pulp after making jelly.
I made an organic dye using flowers, but the color changes when i wash using detergent. How do I make the color permanent? The color of the dye originally was light red, but when I wash it in detergent, it turns blue. If I soak it in vinegar, it turns back to the original color again. How do I let the original color stay even when washing? Please help. Thanks
By Marie from Philippines
By Mary Lou09/23/2013
You need to use what is known as a mordant with natural dyes. The one I use is washing soda. After dyeing, rinse the fabric in a solution of water and washing soda. Make the dye solution a little stronger or brighter than you actually want. Google natural dyeing to get more.
My brother bought a white cotton tunic with a red cotton cross stitched on it. Is there any way to wash it without the red bleeding on the white?
Wash it in cold water.
I've just bought a red wool and cashmere coat, with a patterned, red polyester lining. I didn't notice the disclaimer label, when I bought it, stating you should not get it moist or damp, avoid contact with light fabrics, upholstery, or accessories. What can I do to prevent it bleeding? I really like the coat.
By Rosemary from Nottingham, UK
I would ask a dry cleaner. Perhaps having it dry cleaned could help.
My grandchildren have already tie-died some cotton shirts. They are dry. Now, what do I soak them in to set the colors? I remember something about using salt in solution, but have no idea how much to use or if there is something better to soak them in.
Thanks for any advice.
I am a quilter and we set dark colors with a vinegar rinse. Use white vinegar, a cup per gallon cool water, soak each shirt 15 minutes, than rinse out by hand and dry out of sun. Sun will bleach any color. I hang them over a sink on a plastic hanger after ringing them out by hand and flattening into shape again.
I have a jean sweat jacket and the blue dye got all over me. It's new, but I washed it once. How can I stop the dye from coming out?
I'm knitting an afghan for my grandson who's going to Michigan State. The colors are dark green and white. The yarn is 75% acrylic and 25% wool. Is there anything I can do before I give it to him to prevent the dark green from running?
I purchased a few hand, tie-dyed tablecloths in China and they bleed very badly! They were done in a small village. How can I set the dye in such a large pieces of fabric. Some are a dark blue and another is orange.
People I know that have purchased them, say the color washes out very dramatically, so they must be washed alone, separately. They do, however, maintain the dark blue color along with the lighter pattern (that is "tied in") remaining as well.
Also, I have a front loading machine that doesn't use a lot of water. Is there a way to set the dye in a large tub or large stainless steel sink? Then wash it in the front loading machine. Or, do I have to go to a laundromat and use a tub machine that fills with a large quantity of water.
By Jan D from St. Paul, MN
The dye is probably indigo same dying as for the jeans. You can try to soak your tablecloth in white vinegar when you rinse it. Hope this helps.