How to Dye String


Embroidery thread and yarn comes in a variety of colors, but is usually more expensive than standard string. To save money on craft supplies, you can dye white string to match your projects. Commercial dye is available at craft and fabric stores, or you can make your own dye with natural fabrics.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • 2 buckets
  • Steel pot
  • Cheesecloth
  • Alum
  • Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from staining.

  • Prepare your dye according to package directions and pour the finished product into a bucket. If making a natural dye, simmer clean berries, onion peels, walnut hulls or your chosen natural product in a stainless steel pot with water for half an hour, allow it to cool and strain solids through a cheesecloth into a bucket to make a dye bath.

  • Prepare a mordant bath if using natural dyes: dissolve 1 tbsp. alum, found in grocery store spice sections, with 1 gallon hot water. Pour the mordant bath in a separate bucket.

  • Dip your string in hot water when using commercial dye, or submerge it in the hot mordant bath for 30 minutes if using natural dye.

  • Submerge the string in the dye bath and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. If using a natural dye, let it sit for several hours or more until the string is the desired color.

  • Wring out excess dye and rinse the string. Wash the string several times separately in cold water and allow it to dry thoroughly before using it in other projects.


  • Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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