Get Colorful: How To Dye a Sheepskin
Sheepskin and flokati rugs are everywhere these days — they add texture to a room, and instantly add comfort to a hard plastic or wood chair. But if you’re looking to make your sheepskin stand out from the run of the mill, or just need a little change, fabric dye is the ticket.
What You Need
- Fabric dye
- 1 cup salt
- Rubber gloves or stir stick
- Soaking bucket or bathtub
1. Before you rip open that beautiful packet of dye, you’ll need to soak your sheepskin in a tub of water until it’s completely saturated. Soak it for at least an hour (more if you’re dyeing a really large piece). Stick it in a water bath and then go give the dog a bath (different bath tub) or binge on a few episodes of your favorite show while you wait.
2. Getting the right color requires a little trial and error. I started out with just a capful in the dye bath, and used a smaller fabric item to test the shade. When it was lighter than what I wanted, I added more before dyeing the actual sheepskin. You can always add more dye to the bath, but you can’t get the sheepskin to go lighter once it’s darker.
Tip: You can also cut a few strands from the sheepskin to test the color before submerging the whole piece.
3. Let your sheepskin soak for at least two hours (possibly overnight if you’re dyeing a larger piece) to be sure the color soaks through evenly.
Tip: The hotter the water the deeper and more consistent your color will be. One manufacturer recommends a consistent water temp of 140°F —which would require keeping the dye bath in a pot on your stove for the duration of the dyeing process.
4. To set the color, add 1 cup of salt to the dye bath. Try to hold off on adding the salt until the sheepskin has been in the bath for at least 10-20 minutes, as this will allow for a more even color saturation.
5. After time has passed and you’re happy with the color, take the bucket to a tub or sink, dump out the dye bath and rinse the sheepskin until the water runs clear. Gently squeeze the excess water from the sheepskin and hang to dry. Avoid hanging in the direct sunlight to prevent fading.
Note: To achieve my blue/green color I used 5 capfuls of liquid dye, mixed with 1 cup of salt and let soak overnight (apx 8 hours). Faux sheepskin that is not 100% wool will take significantly less time to dye.
Have a really great DIY project or tutorial that you want to share with others? Let us know! We love checking out what you’re making these days, and learning from our readers. When you’re ready, click here to submit your project and photos.