Concerning dyeing fabric at home: how to dye?

All things may lose their attractive appearance over time. But it is impractical to throw away good clothes just because they had become less colorful. Chemical industry offers an extensive range of cloth dye. However, it is possible to dye fabric at home using means available and DIY fabric dye.

Which fabric can be dyed?


Not all types of fabric can be dyed - synthetic fibers are normally dyed in a special way at dry cleaners. It is much easier to dye natural fabrics: cotton, linen, wool, silk. And there are many dyeing fabric techniques for natural fibers.


How to choose best fabric dye?


The variety of coloring agents and dye colors is extensive - they come in powder, crystal, liquid and paste forms. Chemical dyes will give a stable result upon proper applications, of course. But if there are doubts about obtaining a good result, it is better to use natural coloring agents. Even though they are less intensive, they are environmentally friendly and are safer for health.


Some rules and dyed tips


Before starting, fabrics or clothes are cleaned to get stubborn stains off. If stains remain, it is better to use to dark tones of dye and maybe find out how to dye fabric black just in case. Buttons and metal parts are removed. Before dyeing, fabric is usually boiled in soda water. Before and after dyeing, it is also recommended to soak the fabric in a solution of alum, to reinforce the final result. Any alum would be good - copper sulphate or zinc, table vinegar, pickled cabbage juice, formic acid. The duration of dyeing depends on the type of fabric, the desired color saturation and temperature.


A piece of clothing or a fabric is normally boiled intensively for 50–60 minutes in the coloring solution; at the end vinegar is added - this is how to set dye in fabric.

For viscose, flax and cotton, too hot of water is not suitable - it slows down the dyeing process and increases the time spent. The optimum temperature is no higher than 85°C.


Color will be distributed evenly, if you keep the ratio of the weight of the fabric and the coloring solution as 1:20. 


If you’d like to know how to dye linen or denim well - first a little calcined salt is added and dissolved.


Fabric or clothes need to be hung right after dyeing. Otherwise, stains and drips can form. It is also important to test dye a separate small piece of the same fabric first.


No need to worry if the product looks darker than intended when still wet. After drying, everything will return to normal.


Dyeing at home is not that simple of a process. It requires extreme caution and following exact proportions. It is necessary to consider chances of allergic reactions to the natural and chemical components of dyes used.  For a dyed fabric to please you with its beautiful appearance for a long time, do not forget about further care. Direct exposure to sunlight while drying is unacceptable, since it causes color to burn out. For the first few times after dyeing, fabric or clothes are to be washed separately using detergent for color fabrics, and also vinegar is added during rinsing.