Dyed Outdoor Cushions
Our good friend Alice & Lois made the faulty mistake of buying white outdoor cushions for the summer season. Rather than throwing her cushions away or buying an entirely new set, she gave them new life with the use of our dye for synthetics, Rit DyeMore. Follow the steps below so that you too can makeover your outdoor lounge area this summer season!
Most outdoor cushions are made with synthetic fabrics (i.e. fabric that contains more than 35% polyester, acrylic or acetate). Synthetics require high consistent heat when dyeing so it must be done on your stovetop in a pot to maintain almost boiling temperatures for the duration of your dyeing. Accordingly, you will need a pot big enough to fit your cushions. In case you don’t have a pot large enough, Sara from Alice & Lois ordered this amazing pot from Amazon to do her project! Also, uneven dyeing may occur due to water resistant coatings, sun fading, staining, and age or wear of the material.
- Cover work area with plastic table cover and have paper towels handy to protect against any possible spills. Gather supplies.
- For best results, prewash cushion covers to remove any finishes that may interfere with dye absorption. Leave damp.
- As a general guideline, one bottle of Rit DyeMore will dye one pound of fabric. The cushions in this project weighed 4 pounds so four bottles were used.
- Fill the pot with 9 gallons of water. Add 1 teaspoon of dish detergent to help promote level dyeing. Cover pot and heat water on stove top to just below boiling (200 F° or greater). The key is to use enough water so that the fabric can move freely when in the dyebath.
- When the water begins to simmer, add the four bottles of dye. Wear gloves. Make sure to keep the temperature at a low simmer for the duration of your dyeing.
- Add cushion covers. Stir slowly and continuously. Stirring helps to ensure an even color with no splotches.
- When desired color is achieved, remove from dyebath. Fabric will look darker when wet and will dry lighter. Alice & Lois kept the cushions in the dyebath for 40 minutes.
- Squeeze out excess dye. Run under cool water until the water runs clear.
- Wash in warm water with a mild detergent, rinse and dry.
- Optional: Apply an outdoor repellant like Scotchgard™ Water & Sun Shield to prevent dye transfer and fading by blocking out UVA/UVB rays.
- And enjoy!