Dying textiles is a great way to give new life to an old blanket or pair of jeans. If you're working on a small item, a plastic bucket is ideal, but if you've got something sizable like a quilt, a large enough container to properly cover and agitate the item in can be difficult to come by. You already knew you could use a top loading washing machine, but did you know you can also use your front loader? Well, you can!
I was handed down an ivory quilted blanket a few months ago and while it was pretty, it wasn't...colorful, and I needed it to be. I'd been wondering about the whole dying items in a front loading washing machine process for a while, and figured this would be a great piece to practice on since I wasn't really committed to it one way or the other.
I followed the instructions for dying in a front loading washing machine that the dye company has listed online and have to say, I was pretty impressed with the final results —and the ease! Oh my, was this easy —and the cleanup process was super simple as well.
What You Need
- Liquid dye
- Hot Water
- 1 cup of salt
- 1 tablespoon laundry detergent
- Front loading washing machine
- Measuring cups
Before starting, check the fabric content of the item you plan to dye. Regular old Rit dye works best on washable fabrics like 100% cotton, linen, silk, and wool. Determine the amount of dye you'll need by weighing your item (dry). Generally speaking, one box of powder dye or 1/2 bottle (1/2 cup) of liquid dye will color 1 lb of dry weight.
1. Prewash your item to remove any dirt or deposits that could interfere with the dying process.
2. Set your washer to "hot" and soak your item. Drain, then spin. If you are working with a smaller item like a cotton shirt or thin fabric, remove the item after the spin cycle and smooth out any areas where it might be sticking together. I didn't do this with my blanket because I could see that it after the spin cycle it was pretty loose and fluffy.