How to Dye Your Velour

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Update your velour tracksuit with fabric dye.
Update your velour tracksuit with fabric dye. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Update drab color plush textiles such as velour with fabric dye. Velour may seem challenging to dye because of the pile. Read the fabric content label prior to choosing a dye solution. Cotton velour requires fiber reactive dyes, while polyester velour calls for disperse dye. Natural fiber reactive dye bonds around the cellulose fiber molecule forming a permanent color bond. Fabric dyeing can cause natural shrinkage of the original width and length dimensions. Always remember to adjust patterns by adding shrinkage percentages to the width and length prior to dyeing velour fabric.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Plastic container
  • Bucket (optional)
  • Latex gloves
  • Respirator
  • Reactive dye
  • Mixing stick
  • Plastic spatula
  • Table salt
  • Mesh fabric drying rack

Pour hot water in a sturdy plastic container or bucket. Small containers not covering the entire piece of fabric with the dye bath produces a spot-dye or an uneven color tone. If you are working with cool water reactive dyes, refer to your brand’s temperature requirement.

Wear latex gloves, a respirator and old clothing prior to mixing. Dye often splatters when immersing and removing the fabric and can permanently damage the garments you are wearing. Dyes release toxic fumes so it is best to work in a well-ventilated area.

Add the reactive fabric dye to the hot water and blend with a mixing stick. Use a plastic spatula to break apart any dye clumps that can form at the bottom of the container. If the clump seeps into the velour, it results in unwanted saturated color spots.

Add 1 tsp. table salt as you continue to stir the dye. Read your brand’s instructions for exact measurement requirements. Certain dye brands do not require salt.

Unfold the velour fabric. Immerse one end into the dye bath and continue to feed the remaining fabric into the container until it is fully covered with dye.

Stir the fabric in the container to saturate all sides of the velour. Make sure the fabric does not bunch or fold, preventing the reactive dye from bonding evenly to the velour fibers and pile.

Let the fabric sit in the dye bath according to your brand’s instructions. Most brands suggest a minimum of 30- to 40- minutes.

Remove the velour from the dye. Rinse in cool water several times until the dye runs clear.

Set the wet velour, pile side facing up, on a mesh fabric drying rack to air dry for a minimum of 24 hours. This process allows the dye to thoroughly set.

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