How to Dye Fabric Black

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Use the stove top method for dying clothes black.
Use the stove top method for dying clothes black. (Image: black jeans, black leather belt image by GoodMood Photo from Fotolia.com)

You can dye fabric in many different ways, but dying a fabric a dark color like black is best done through the stove top method. This allows the water to get hot enough and will also keep the dark dyes out of your washing machine. Fabric dyes are available in your local grocery or drug store, but more options are likely available at craft or fabric stores. You can also buy fabric dye online.

Things You'll Need

  • Bottled RIT brand dye
  • Fabric or clothing to dye
  • 3 gallons hot water
  • Mild laundry detergent

Prewash all fabric that you will use for dying. This will ensure that all previous dyes are removed from the fabric, allowing your fabric to better absorb the black dye.

Fill large pot with 3 gallons of hot water and place on a stove.

Add dye to water, using 1/2 bottle of dye for every pound of fabric. Mix until fully incorporated.

Wet fabric in hot, clean water.

Remove folds and wrinkles from fabric and immerse in the dye/water mixture.

Bring the water to a simmer and stir constantly for 30 minutes.

Rinse the fabric under warm water, then make the water gradually cooler, rinsing until the water runs clear.

Wash the item by hand or in the washing machine using a mild detergent and warm water. Rinse with cool water. You can set your washing machine to the warm/cold setting.

Dry the fabric in the dryer or hang-dry the fabric.

Clean your pot and washing machine with chlorine-based bleach to thoroughly rid the vessels of the black dye.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can use other brands of fabric dye, but you must follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Failing to clean your vessels after dying could result in dying your next load of laundry black.

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