Can colored or printed fabrics be dyed?

November 17 2017

Yes, colored and printed fabrics can be dyed. It’s a method called overdyeing.

If the garment you are planning to dye has a light solid color and you are looking to dye it a darker color, then all we recommend doing is following the standard instructions for how to use Rit All-Purpose Dye (if dyeing cotton, linen, silk, wool, nylon, ramie or rayon) or Rit DyeMore (if dyeing garments that have more than 35% polyester, acrylic or acetate). If you are looking to: (a) dye a dark solid garment a lighter color or (b) completely change the color of a garment from one solid color to another (such as from purple to blue), then follow our instructions on how to change the color of a garment.

If you are dyeing something with a print or logo, the color chosen for overdyeing will mix with the existing color(s) in the fabric and create new colors. In other words, the rules of color mixing apply. When selecting a color, think about how it will mix with the colors in the pattern. For example, if you were to dye an item that has a pink flower pattern with a blue dye, the pink flowers will turn purplish (blue and pink make purple) while the rest of the fabric will dye blue. Even if you were to overdye the patterned garment with a dark color, you may find that the color will appear lighter along the patterned area.

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