Fade to White! Want to whiten your dingy whites? Or even better, how about revitalizing a set of expensive cotton sheets that have faded in color? Here are some expert tips on how to spruce up and revitalize fabric - it's easy, and it's how the pros do it!
I had a beautiful baby blue set of Egyptian cotton sheets 1000 thread count that had faded and become very stained. I decided I wanted to try and make them white, and I succeeded at it! They look bright and white and good as new.
Before we get started, a few caveats: It is easier to go white if the original color was light. If your sheet set is a darker color, say a navy blue or a burgundy or forest green, you may want to try and redye the sheets (and that's another tip!)
Here is how to get the same results I did:
Although household bleach is a powerful whitener, it is bad for the environment and weakens fabric. I only use bleach as a very very last resort brightener; try the other things listed, and you will probably find that you will not need any bleach at all!
If you use bleach, or you have used bleach, you need to remember that bleach stays in fabric and weakens it. So if you do bleach something, you should rinse the item as soon as you are done bleaching it in hydrogen peroxide (add a bottle or two to a rinse cycle). You can also buy a product called bleach stop from or from a professional art and craft store.
Use the Good Stuff
This means a trip to your local art supply store, or you can order online. I get my supplies from Dick Blick or Pearl Art Supply. You will get better results with professional products, and they are not much more than what you would pay for Rit. Use Procion, or Jacquard brand products - or any other professional brand.
This is only guaranteed to work on natural fibers (cotton, linens, wool, rayon, etc). With wool, be careful with shrinkage at high temps. Cottons are the easiest to work with.
Start by removing the original color. This step also works on dingy whites. Use a color remover. I used the Jacquard brand dye remover and it worked wonderfully well. For best results, do it in a large pot (not aluminum!) on your stove so you can keep the temperature hot. Boil the water first, and add 1 heaping tsp.
You can also do it in a bathtub, but it might take longer and require more dye remover. I did the larger sheets in the tub, with very hot water. I caution against dying or removing color in a front loading washing machine - or any machine. I once had dye residue damage on several loads of laundry : ( Your bathtub or sink is easier to clean and safer. Note that if the thread was 100% polyester, it will probably stay its original color.
A bottle of the jacquard dye remover cost under $4 and did an entire sheet set.
You will notice that the fabric might still be a bit grey or yellowish, although I was very impressed at how well it turned out. For all of you perfectionists out there, try these tips, in this order:
Be sure to enjoy your new "brightey whiteys".
By Wangchok from Canada
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
I have had this cut of fabric for a few years and just noticed faded spots where folded, when rearranging my fabric stash. There are printed white flowers on the light blue chambray fabric.Is there a way to fix the faded areas or is this now scrap fabric?
It looks like light/sunlight has caused this and that means the color is gone and no way that I'm aware of to bring this color back.
It seems to be cotton material (?) and that means you could dye it but your flowers would no longer be white but just a lighter color of whatever dye you used.
If it were my fabric, I believe that I would try finding things to do with smaller pieces and use the faded part for seams (unseen).
There are a lot of 'sewing' members on this sight so I feel sure there will be many excellent suggestions as days go by.
I have had this happen before and I have not found a way to fix it, per se. What I have learned is it makes great tie dye fabric! You can experiment with it and make really neat patterns and shading and the fading then just becomes part of the charm because it will take color differently and not stand out.
I wish I had saved some of my 1960s-1970s creations. They were so cute!!
I can see a super cute summer sun dress made from this or a fun top that ties at the middle (very 1970s styling would be perfect for this!). If you do a sun dress, I see spaghetti straps in its future :)
Or a pretty blouse that will be tie dyed to go with jeans.
You can bring back one of my favorite trends like this!! I adore tie dye and chambray fabrics!!
Post back your finished project!
You say your bin of fabric has been stored out of direct sunlight. That does NOT mean light doesn't get to it...even weak light will fade fabric eventually. Fabric needs to be stored in complete darkness to prevent fading. Even light going under the door of a relatively dark closet might be all that's needed to fade the fabric. So if you don't have a totally dark area for storage, make sure to put fabric in a dark colored tote with a tight lid, or line the inside and top of a light colored tote with foil or dark paper and make sure all edges overlap to keep out all light.
I have a dark grey jumper which has been out in the sun and the sun has bleached it in places. Is there anything I can do to restore it please?
You should be able to re-dye it. Make sure you get the right type of dye for the fabric the jumper is made of...a little research on the RIT Dye site will help you through choosing the correct dye. Good luck and post back your results if you want to.
Sometimes this can be tricky so be sure to check and make a note of all fabrics (and %) before you think about dyeing your jumper as some fabrics will not dye properly.
Usually there is a dye that will work for almost any fabric but I would suggest you contact Rit Dye company directly and let them tell you which dye to try.
If there are really dark parts to your jumper they may say to take the color out first or maybe other instructions.
Usually there are several ways to dye a garment so be sure you're able to match their recommendations. Maybe by washing machine or pans large enough to cover with hot water, etc. but you will be able to read the full instructions.
I was cleaning a stubborn stain off a pair of colored jeans, but the dye came off as well. I am just wondering if there is a way to correct this problem.
You can mix up a dye in a matching color and apply with a paintbrush.
My hat is sun damaged and discolored. Is there any way I can salvage the hat and make it wearable again?
I'm sure I'm not the only woman who has this problem. You buy a really nice blouse or shirt and a few months down the line you can clearly see the breast marks on the shirt due to being a bit busty. Is there anyone out there that has found a way for this not to happen? Or if it does happen, how do you fix it?
Am getting white shades in my pure black cotton jeans. It looks awkward when I wear them. I washed it so many times, but I couldn't get any positive results.
From your description, it appears that your jeans are losing their black color in some areas. If so, further washing will only make the problem worse as the spots are not stains but lost dye areas. You can try a home dye product to redye your jeans, however, even if the pants take the dye, the white areas may still be lighter than the rest of the material.
Actually I have one maroon colour Raymond shirt, but after washing it with detergent powder, white patches appeared on my shirt. How can I remove them?
My husband left a jacket on a sunny porch over the summer, now it has a big faded patch on the back. Is there any way to get rid of this without dyeing the jacket?
The sun, especially shining for such a long time on the jacket, has essentially bleached the material. Some fabrics can lose color from even a day of sun exposure. You can try dying the jacket, however, there may be a problem in how the dye affects the bleached area.
I ruined my favorite shirt and tried to buy another one, but they don't sell it anymore. I can't even order it. It is dark purple and made out of rayon. It has a huge light pink spot on it in a couple of places. It looks like the color faded out of it for on these spots. How can i fix this? Can I dye rayon? I read something about a crayon and iron. Can I iron rayon? Please give me ideas, I will try anything.
Sounds like a bleach stain. Purple will bleach out to pink sometimes. Bleach or a cleaning product that contains bleach does this. You have nothing to lose by trying to color with crayon and ironing in, but I doubt it will match. If you do it, be sure to wash separately so crayon excess doesn't bleed onto other clothing.
Try a magic marker close to the color of your top. Be sure to keep the marker in the middle of the stain, as it will darken the outer part that has not lost its color. Good luck.
It does sound like a bleach stain. I don't know much about rayon, but you could try RIT dye in the laundry section of your grocery store (two packages, since it is a dark color). You may want to try the RIT color remover first, to start off with a more evenly-toned color overall. If you try the crayon and it doesn't work, then you'd have the problem of removing the crayon completely before trying to dye it.
Get a quality pigment dye from an art supply store and follow directions. I've read rayon takes color beautifully. Good luck!
Why do I have faded spots on laundry? I am not using bleach.
Tammy from Crawfordville, FL
Are you using laundry detergent WITH bleach? I use to have the same problem until I stopped using detergent with bleach.
I hand washed my new baby blue jeans and have noticed that they have white faded marks on them, can they be removed? Is this the colour coming out of them?
How do I repair faded spots on silk?
Please help. Thank you!