How I Dye My Clothes And Shoes + Tips

Dyeing Your Clothes And Shoes
My favourite dress was getting faded, now it's bright red again

   This year I have been experimenting with dyeing a couple of pieces in my wardrobe, and I have realised that though the dye packets have detailed instructions on them they don't tell you what results to expect. After a bit of trial and error I finally got a feel for what will work and what won't. Here is what I wish I had known before I started my dyeing experiments:

* When thinking of the coverage of fabric dye, think of watercolours.

   That's more or less the coverage you'll be getting from a regular fabric dye. It will not completely cover the original colour of the fabric, it will kind of mix with the original colour. So if you are dyeing a blue garment grey, you'll end up with a greyish blue. Also the blue will probable be rather washed out, it's really hard to get a very intensive or very dark colour (you can try by dyeing the garment in a bucket or sink, using double the amount of dye and very little water).

* Fabric dye is amazing to refresh faded pieces.

   Especially black and red. Both these colours tend to fade pretty quickly and look old. A round with dye will make them look brand new again.

* Dye is perfect to slightly tweak a colour, especially on "difficult" fabrics or dark pieces:

   Syntehtics like polyester as well as wool don't catch dye well, but they will change colour a bit if you dye them. Ditto for items that already have a dark colour. I had several grey pieces that were a bit too cool, light grey isn't the most flattering colour on me. I threw them in with several other dye loads I was doing. Some are now a grey-brown which is quite flattering, some are a greyish-blue, some charcoal.

* Dye is sometimes the only way to rescue a stained piece.

   I had a lovely white bedspread which had lots of yellow stains. Now it's blue, the stains are invisible.

* Even if the fabric can be dyed, the threads might not be.

   Visible threads can make the piece look less elegant and more casual.

* Don't add the dye into the barrel of the machine

This can end up with darker patches. Always add the dye into the washing powder compartment.

Spray dyes and dye felt-tip pens:

  I own a lovely black canvas bag with white handles and for years I couldn't figure out  how to dye the faded black bits without removing and reattaching the white handles (I'm lazy). I then discovered that you can get textile dyes in spray or felt marker format. My spray dye is from Marabu, the coverage is pretty good. The dyed piece has to be ironed or baked in an oven to fix it. I have used up and thrown away the marker and completely don't remember what brand it was. Anyway, it was what I used to dye the faded edges of my canvas bag. Fabric paint pens are also pretty fun for kids -- my older one didn't want to start wearing undies after she was potty-trained, so I let her draw all over them with dye pens to make them feel "hers".

Dyeing leather shoes:

   After seeing a lot of pinterest tutorials I really wanted to dye a pair of shoes whose colour I didn't like any more. Many leather paint kits are really expensive, which was quite discouraging. After a lot of research I discovered the very affordable Morello leather dye, which I would recommend in a heartbeat. The coverage is really good, you could turn black shoes sky blue if you wanted to. The dye has the right consistency, and it holds up really good to use. The only downside (for me) is that the paint is rather glossy, I prefer matte. I also got the Entfärber (dye remover) from the same brand which prepares the leather by stripping it of any previous dye or products. I then painted the shoes with a paintbrush, I did two coats. There is still a lot of dye left over, and I could imagine dyeing a belt, bag or anything else.

    Well, these are my humble first attempts. If you have experience with dyeing, do you have any tips for me?

Check these out: