I’m finally getting into fabric dyes! A friend gave me a denim jacket recently that I’ve been refashioning slowly. I took in the side seams, took off the sleeves, and added darts in the back, but it still wasn’t quite right. It needed to be black!! So I bought a bottle of RIT dye and followed the Tips for Success on the RIT website. Dyeing clothes is a trial-and-error process. What I learned:
1. Use a lot of dye on thick cotton. I used about 3/4 a bottle of black dye in three gallons of water (the directions call for only 1/2 a bottle), and my vest only turned a few shades darker. It’s nowhere near a true black.
2. Three gallons is a lot of water, so make sure you’re boiling enough! I boiled water in a large sauce pan and in a tea kettle and poured it into my 5-gallon bucket and it just barely filled up the bottom and covered my vest! I frantically started boiling water in every saucepan I had, so I didn’t waste the dye.
3. When you’re stirring the mix, use a wide metal spoon with a long handle. Stirring for twenty minutes gets very tiring, and a bigger spoon makes the job easier. Metal is easy to clean and sterilize when you’re done.
4. Have a plan for where you’re going to dry the garment, as it’s inevitably going to drip dye. If it’s in the tub, try hanging it from the shower head and putting a plastic bag on the bottom of the tub.
BEFORE AND AFTER: