How to Dye Black Clothing

June 11, 2011 by earthones  
Published in Style

When dyeing black or dark colored clothing, there is a little more involved than when dyeing lighter colored clothing.

Image Courtesy King Kotton Fashions

When dyeing black or dark colored clothing, there is a little more involved than when dyeing lighter colored clothing.  With a white T-shirt, for example, you simply add the fabric to the dye wash according to instructions to get the color you want. However, if you tried this with a darker piece of clothing, you are engaging in a futile exercise.

Dyeing a dark colored clothing requires that you first remove the dark color then apply the dye of your choosing. This process is often referred to as reverse dying.

To dye black or dark clothing you will first need the following items:

1) Clorox bleach

2) rubber gloves

3) dust mask

4) vinegar

5) large basin

6) dyes

The following steps will guide you through the reverse dyeing process

1. Select the clothing item you wish to dye. For the purposes of this demonstration we will choose a plain black T shirt.Rinse the T-shirt and hand to dry slightly or spin in a dryer. T-shirt should be wet but not dripping.

2. You will now prepare the solution for bleaching the T-Shirt by mixing 1 part bleach to 4 parts water. Mix enough of the solution to cover the T-shirt. Place the wet T-shirt in the mixture and with a wooden spoon, press down to ensure it is well covered and soaked.Allow to sit for an hour or until all the colour is removed.

3. While the T-shirt is in the bleach solution, Prepare a solution of 2 parts water to one part vinegar. Remove the clothing from the bleach solution and wring out. Place the T-shirt under clear running water and wring out again. Now add the T-shirt to the vinegar solution and allow to sit for 1/2 hour. Vinegar is used to help stop the bleaching process. Rinse T-Shirt.

5. Create you design if you are doing a tie dye or you can just select a solid color for your T-shirt. Follow the dyeing instructions on you package.

This process works best with 100 percent cotton. You should always wear gloves and a mask when working with bleach and dyes . This process can also be applied to just a portion of the clothing giving an even more defined contrast. Bleach can cause the fibers in clothing to become weak so avoid leaving it in the bleach too long.

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