Upcycled: Back to Black Bat Napkins

October 18 2023

Stained napkins are no match for our Back to Black kit which includes our darkest, richest (and arguably spookiest) Jet Black All-Purpose Liquid Dye. With a few more tricks, we turned them into bats to set the table for Halloween 🦇

  • Rit Back to Black Kit
  • Square cotton napkins
  • Large Plastic Bucket or Sink for Dyeing
  • Measuring Cup and Spoon
  • Salt
  • Dish Soap
  • Plastic Table Cover
  • Paper Towels
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  1. Cover work area with plastic table cover and have paper towels handy to protect against any possible spills. Gather supplies.
  2. For best results, prewash napkins in the washing machine before dyeing. This removes any manufacturer’s finishes or stains that may interfere with dye absorption. Leave damp and set aside.
  3. Wearing rubber gloves, fill sink or a large container with 3 gallons of very hot water. The water should ideally be 140ºF. If tap water is not hot enough, heat water on the stove and add to the dyebath. Pour 1/2 bottle of well-shaken dye into dyebath.
  4. To enhance the color, add one cup of salt. Add 1 teaspoon of dish detergent to help promote level dyeing.
  5. Stir well.
  6. Test color by dipping a paper towel into the dyebath. If color is too light, add more dye. If color is too dark, add more water.
  7. Immerse wet napkins in dye bath and stir continuously for 20 minutes. Wearing rubber gloves, move napkins back and forth and up and down. This helps to ensure an even color. Tongs are also helpful for lifting. Continue to stir occasionally for 10 minutes or until desired color is achieved (up to one hour). The longer the napkins remain in the dye bath, the darker the color will be. Color will appear lighter when dry.
  8. To help reduce color bleeding and improve color retention, treat napkins with Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative immediately after dyeing and before rinsing. Remove napkins from dye bath and squeeze out excess dye. Fill container with 3 gallons hot water and add 4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup) dye fixative; stir well. Immerse in fixative, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove napkins and rinse in cold water until water begins to run clear. Then machine wash with an old towel in warm water with mild detergent, rinse and dry. If desired, iron to remove excess wrinkles.
  10. To fold napkins into bat shape:
    1. Fold napkin in half diagonally to create an isosceles triangle with a corner facing you and the straight edge facing away.
    2. Fold the corner up towards the straight edge so that it sticks out 1” resembling a canoe or boat shape.
    3. Place one finger on the short, straight edge facing you then, fold the right and left corners of the edge upwards to create the wings as shown.
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