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Friday, February 3




This yellow blouse is a great thrift find but seriously, yellow, it makes my skin look green.  Home dyeing can be an easy fix or a big disaster.  Here are some tips I picked up while working in the wardrobe department.  I haven’t outlined all the steps as the directions on the package are mostly complete.

Dye will not cover stains like grease, deodorant, bleach accidents or dark mystery marks.  Think of dye as a translucent filter not an opaque paint.  When using either Tintex or Dylon brand dyes remember that only certain fibres will take the colour.  Cotton, linen, silk, viscose, wool, nylon and lycra will soak it up but polyester remains pretty unchanged.  Because most thread is polyester, keep in mind that any topstitching will remain the original colour of the garment.  If you’re looking to dye polyester check out G&S Dye.

When dyeing, never use utensils or vessels intended for cooking and always wear gloves – dyes are nasty for your health.  Dylon dyes come in these really annoying tins that you have to puncture to open.  I prefer Dylon over Tintex as the colours are richer but the packaging does put me off.  Prepare an area with a damp rag.  The rag will soak up any dye that escapes as you puncture the tin and mix the dye.  I like to move the dye from the inconvenient tin to a small jar as I don’t usually use it all at once.

Mix the dry dye in half a litre of hot water.  I like to mix several colours together to get exactly what I want.  You can test the colour using a small swatch, remember that this colour will be diluted and affected by the original shade of the garment.  Prepare a large pot on the stove with enough water to cover your garment.  When adding the concentrated dye to the pot it is VERY IMPORTANT to pour it through a rag.  The best thing to use is old panty hose but I find a scrap of cotton works just as well.  This step picks up any undisolved particles that make those little flecks often seen on home dyed garments.  Don’t forget to add the salt if you’re using Dylon.  Tintex includes the salt in the mix.  Also add a splash of laundry soap which will help to move the dye through the water.  Never use detergent when dyeing silk or wool as it contains enzymes which degrade protein fibres.  If you don't have a laundry soap like Woolite, shampoo will do.

Dyeing is a fast and inexpensive way to give a garment a new life but I wouldn’t recommend throwing it in with the regular wash:  home dyes can run a bit, especially in hot water.  


  1. BEST ! i love this .... and, wicked photos! i have so many amazing photos of this process too.

  2. Genius. And such a beautiful shirt! -BEST