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How-To: Dye Weird Colored Clothing


When I found this dress on clearance at Ann Taylor Loft for $15 I was really excited. I thought it would be the perfect work dress for multiple seasons. But when I brought it home and put it on with black shoes I noticed something strange....the dress now looked navy and I looked colorblind to be wearing it. So I put on camel sandals....and the dress now looked black. So I put on navy shoes (which were ugly anyway but hey I had to try)....and it looked black still. So after having the dress for a year and never wearing it because it is a funny in-between color I decided to do something about it and dye it black. I have never dyed clothing before but I knew I was not going to wear it the way it was so I had nothing to lose even if I ruined it. So I bought some black dye at Joann's this last weekend for a couple of bucks and last night I went for it.

  • Dress
  • Dye
  • Rubber gloves
  • Salt
  • Dishpan
  • Disposable mixing container (I used an old ice cream container)
  • Old painting clothes

1. Put on your old paint clothes, gather materials, and determine where you are going use the dye. Since we do not have a sink in the laundry room I used the kitchen sink but was very very careful not to get the dye on the counter tops.

2. Wet the clothing and mix the dye, water and salt according to instructions on the package. The particular dye had me mix things together in two separate containers before mixing it together. When I mixed the dye, it was almost like it was a giant vat of dark ink.

3. Add clothing and stir. Per the instructions on my dye, I stirred consistently for the first 15 minutes and then occasionally for the next 45. I am not sure what the dye's definition of "occasionally" is, but I did it on every commercial break while I was watching TV.

4. Dump out the dye and rinse clothing in cool water until it runs clean. Again be very careful not to splash.

5. Wash the clothing. Since I am only supposed to handwash this dress anyway, I used Woolite in warm water.

6. Rinse, wring and hang to dry.

Here is what I ended up with last night....I will repost the final results after I iron it . It looks more black to me but until it passes the "shoe test" I will not know for sure.
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