Pillowcases, duvet covers, sheets, and bed spreads can all be ruined with a conspicuous stain. It's unfortunate when perfectly good, intact bedding is cast away because of a spot here and there, or because of general dinginess. Rather than buying new, dye your bedding instead! It's a great way to cover stains or update a color. Either way, it'll prolong the life of something you already own and be cost effective to boot. The results may delight you, making you like it better than before.
Even if you've never dyed fabrics before, it is incredibly easy, especially when using a washing machine.
• First, get stains as light as possible by marinating the area in your favorite stain remover (follow manufacturer's instructions).
• After lightening the stain, rewash your bedding to insure that no residual stain remover remains.
• DO NOT overload the washing machine when dyeing. I know we've all been tempted to overload the washing machine while doing laundry at one time or another. NEVER do it while dyeing fabric, especially large fabric like bedding. It won't tumble in the dye bath evenly, resulting in a tie-dyed pattern.
• IMPORTANT washing machine tip: Even if your washing machine is designed to rinse out the bath before the recommended time, not to worry. Simply stop the machine and restart the wash cycle, making sure to set it in a mode that won't make the machine drain out the dye bath. The important thing is to keep the dye bath intact. In other words, don't let the machine rinse out your fabric.
Selecting the Best Color:
• To cover stains, medium to dark dyes work best. The darker the stain, the darker the dye should be.
• Because all dyes also dye the stain along with the rest of the fabric. Light dyes don't work well because
Rit Dye offers excellent advice, tips, a color guide, and even a blog on how to dye just about anything. Whether you decide to use Rit or to use a more natural dyeing technique like Procion MX
, Rit's website offers excellent advice for beginners.
Rit Dye's Tips:
• Dyeing Techniques
• Tips for Success
• Color Formula Guide
(This color guide is specific to Rit's products so it won't be an exact match for other brands, but I still find it a valuable resource to get a general hint of how colors may turn out.)
• Rit's Blog
shows actual results of various projects
• Extend the Life of Slipcovered Furniture with Non-Toxic Dye
• Dyeing Wool with Onion Skins
(Image: Elle Decor)