To determine how much dye is needed, weigh the item to be dyed on a food scale or estimate the weight. As a general guideline, one liquid bottle / two powder packages dyes two pounds of dry fabric. If you are trying to achieve a very bold color, then double the dye quantity.
Fiber content and weight effect how color appears. If you are in doubt as to whether your fabric will accept dye or achieve the color you want, we recommend testing a swatch first.
Before dyeing, remove any visibile stains on the garment. This will help achieve uniform color results when dyeing. Pre-wash item in warm, soapy water. This helps to remove any finishes that may interfere with dye absorption.
Cover work area with plastic table cover and have paper towels handy to protect against any possible spills.
Wear rubber gloves to protect hands from getting stained and to insulate them when working with hot water.
Fill a plastic container or stainless steel sink with enough water for the fabric to move freely. We recommend using three gallons of water for every pound of fabric. The water should ideally be 140ºF. If tap water is not hot enough, heat water on the stove and add to the dyebath.
To enhance the color: (1) add one cup of salt when dyeing fabrics containing cotton, rayon, ramie or linen; (2) add one cup of vinegar when dyeing fabrics containing nylon, silk or wool.
Add 1 teaspoon of dish detergent to help promote level dyeing.
If using powder dye, dissolve thoroughly in 2 cups of very hot water.
Pour dissolved powder dye or well-shaken liquid dye into dyebath and mix well.
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.
Wet the item you are going to be dyeing and add it to the dyebath.
Stir slowly and continuously. The first 10 minutes are the most critical. Stirring helps to ensure an even color with no splotches.
Item can remain in dyebath from 10 minutes up to one hour. If dyeing a polyester cotton blend, keep the fabric in the dyebath for at least 30 minutes to ensure that the color takes fully. Nylon tends to dye very quickly and much darker than other fibers so the actual time needed in the dyebath is less.
When desired color is achieved, remove from dyebath. Fabric will look darker when wet and will dry lighter. Squeeze out excess dye.