How To Dye Textiles In A Front Loading Washing Machine

How To Dye Textiles In A Front Loading Washing Machine

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Ashley Poskin
Apr 18, 2015
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

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!

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

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.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

What You Need

Materials

  • Liquid dye
  • Hot Water
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1 tablespoon laundry detergent

Tools

  • Front loading washing machine
  • Measuring cups

Instructions

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

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.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

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.