How to Dye Sweaters

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Light colored sweaters will receive new dye better than darker colors.
Light colored sweaters will receive new dye better than darker colors. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Dyeing a sweater is not difficult and uses the same process as dyeing any other type of fabric or clothing. However, there are a few additional steps necessary to dye a sweater successfully. Before dyeing, check the fabric content of the sweater. Only natural fibers, such as cotton and wool will dye properly. Synthetic fabrics will resist the dye and look ugly after dyeing. If your sweater is made of natural fibers, then you can follow the directions for natural-fiber dyeing. The bucket dyeing method is the best method to use for novice dyers.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Scale
  • Large bucket
  • Powered dye
  • Stirring stick
  • Towel

Place the sweater on a large piece of paper. Trace the outline of the sweater’s shape. Set the paper aside.

Weigh the sweater. You will need one package of powdered dye per pound of fabric.

Fill a large bucket with three gallons of hot water per pound of fabric. Dissolve the dye packets in two cups of hot water. Use one packet per pound of fabric. Place the dissolved dye into the bucket.

Soak the sweater in hot water. Add the sweater to the dye bath after the fabric is saturated with hot water.

Stir the sweater inside the bucket for 30 minutes. The longer you leave the sweater in the dye, the darker the fabric will turn out.

Rinse the sweater in warm water until the water runs clear. Rinse the sweater in cool water until any excess dye is removed.

Place the sweater onto a towel and blot dry.

Place the sweater over the piece of paper. Shape the sweater so that it fits inside the outline drawn on the piece of paper. Allow the sweater to air dry for 24 hours.

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