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How to use fabric dye

While clothing may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of dyeing fabrics and textiles, you can also give curtains, cushions and bags a new look. It’s a fantastic way to extend the life of your fabrics and to feel like you’ve got something new – without actually buying anything! There are dyes for use with the washing machine and for dyeing by hand. Here’s our guide for dyeing your clothes and textiles!

Dye clothes and fabrics in the washing machine

With washing machine dye, it’s easy to transform old towels, curtains, cushions and clothes and make them like new. Try using just one colour, or get creative with tie-dyeing.

What to do:

• Start by washing the fabric if it is new.

• Pour your fabric dye of choice into the washing machine and add a packet of dye salt on top.

• Add the damp fabric and set the washing machine to the temperature indicated for the product. (Nitor: 80-90°C, Dylon: 40°C)

• When the washing machine programme is done, add laundry detergent and run it again.

• Done!

You now have “new” clothes and interior design details for a fresh new style!

Dye fabrics by hand 

If you want to dye a smaller quantity of fabrics and textiles, it may be easier to do so by hand. Both Nitor and Dylon have hand-dyeing options.
This may also be a better choice for materials like wool, silk and nylon. 

Hand dyeing with Dylon:

• Weigh the dry fabric (max 250 grammes) and prewash it.

• Dissolve Dylon fabric dye in 500 ml of warm water and stir. Note! Don’t forget to wear gloves!

• Fill a stainless steel bowl or sink with 6 litres of 40°C water and add 250 grammes of Dylon fabric dye salt, then stir to dissolve.

• Carefully submerge the fabric in the dye and actively stir for 15 minutes; then stir now and then for 45 minutes.

• Rinse in cold water and wash in warm water.

• Done!

Additional notes on dyeing fabrics

The end result will depend on the quantity of fabric, material, and original colour. For example: A yellow towel dyed blue will become bluish green. 

It’s also a good idea to weigh your fabric in order to calculate how much dye to use. Up to 600 grammes of cotton, linen and viscose will obtain full colour strength. 600 - 1200 grammes will be a lighter shade. If you want 1200 grammes of fabric to obtain full-strength colour, then use two packets of dye (but only one packet of salt). Polyester/cotton blends and polyester/viscose blends will also obtain a lighter shade, because synthetic fibres do not absorb dye.

Dry clean only fabrics cannot usually be dyed.

Have fun!