How to Dye Vintage Clothingby ashley on Feb 7, 2012 • 11:17 am •
Maybe you have a piece of clothing that’s sitting around in your closet begging to be worn. Problem is, it’s a boring piece. The color is drab, dull, and just plain wrong and you’ve had enough! Into the donation pile it goes.
Stop right there. Have you ever thought of dying it a different color? No? Well, if you’re up for it, dying is a simple and cheap way to liven up a piece of clothing. Read on to learn how!
Disclaimer: First and foremost, I only recommend dying clothing that you won’t regret messing up in case things go south durnig the dying process. Leave your expensive, rare, or antique items alone or take them to a professional to see what they can do.
- 1 package of dye (I like RIT Dye, the powdered kind.. You can find it at craft stores)
- Clothing (Make sure that the clothing is made out of a natural fiber like cotton. Man made materials like polyester or acrylic will not take to the dye as well, hence the colors might not be vibrant.)
- Large bucket
- Stirring stick
- Rubber gloves
(These are just some general tips, make sure to read the dye instructions for specifics!)
- Take the clothing you want to dye and soak it in water. Make sure it is wet through and through.
- Grab your bucket and fill it with hot water. Standard practice is three gallons of water for every package. Using a little less water will result in a potentially more vibrant color.
- Take your dye and pre-dissolve it in two cups of hot water. The hotter the water the better. Add to this mixture 1 tablespoon of detergent and one cup of salt. The salt helps to make the color stay on the fabric. Add this to the bucket.
- Take your damp clothing and submerge it into the bucket filled with dye.
- Stir, stir, stir! You want to constantly stir the clothing to make sure it is evenly dyed. Take care that the clothing isn’t too rumpled or creased in the water to ensure that the dye has penetrated every nook and cranny. 30-60 minutes of stirring should do the trick.
- Put those gloves on and take your clothing out of the dye bath and into a sink. Rinse until the water runs clear. This might take a while.
- When the water runs clear, take your clothing and put it in the washing machine. Wash it on a cold water cycle and dry per usual.
Ashley Baluyut is an Orange County based blogger and writer with a serious love for vintage clothing. You can find her at her fashion and lifestyle blog MILK TEETHS or you can catch up with her latest thrift haul vintage finds on YouTube at Three Feathers Vintage.