How to dye fabrics with a washing machine


Dyes can be used to imbue fabrics with a happy, welcomi […]

Dyes can be used to imbue fabrics with a happy, welcoming spirit. Using just fabric dye, hot dyeing machine water, and salt, experiment with the practice of creating your own hues. Give plain white cotton dish towels a colorful upgrade, making them pretty enough to use as napkins. Former Martha Stewart Living crafts editor Silke Stoddard uses iDye pellets to dye batches of them in a washing machine, then tosses them in the dryer.

The whole process is as easy as running a load of laundry," she explainsIf you've never used dye in a washing machine, we understand why you would have some reservations. After all, who wants an indigo washing machine that stains every load of laundry? Nonetheless, household dyes like Rit won't permanently stain any metal component on your machine. In fact, Rit has been used in washing machines for decades, dating back to a time when big appliances were popularized in American households during the 1950s.

They even coined the phrase "Push Button Color!" in the early '60s to demonstrate the use of Rit in washing machines.) A washing machine is the go-to method for coloring oversized items such as window drapes, bedspreads, and rugs. And it's actually the most convenient dyeing method, period. All you have to do is sit back, relax, and let your machine do all of the work.To determine how much dye is needed, refer to the package instructions. Pictured here, Stoddard used iDye pellets and she used them to color a batch of these Tekla dish towels from IKEA.

Before dyeing, treat any visible stains on the item. This will help achieve uniform color results when dyeing. Pre-wash item in warm, soapy water. This helps to remove any finishes that may interfere with dye absorption. It's worth noting that, as in most dyeing projects, natural materials work best. That's because the fibers—whether cotton, linen, silk, or wool—will absorb the color more thoroughly. Again, check the care label if you're unsure.

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