How to Dye a Winter Jacket

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Whether your favorite winter jacket has faded or you simply want a color change, hand dyeing gives you many additional options for your garment. In addition to renewing the life of a winter jacket, you can create an entirely new look just by changing the garment's color. Once you know how to choose between types of dyes and techniques, dyeing can be relatively simple and fun.

Things You'll Need

  • Appropriate type of dye
  • Large plastic container or washing machine
  • Wooden broom handle (if applicable)
  • Face mask
  • Rubber dishwashing gloves
  • Additional dye mixture ingredients per dye instructions

Find out what kind of fabric your winter jacket is made of to assess whether it can be dyed. Fabrics that require dry cleaning cannot be dyed because you can’t get them wet, and polyester dyeing is difficult and dangerous even for professionals. Check the tags in the back of your jacket for the types of fibers used. Make sure the fabric blend doesn’t include any polyester or dry-clean-only fabrics.

Asses the type of dye you need. Cellulose fibers such as cotton, linen and rayon require fiber-reactive dyes. Protein fibers such as wool and mohair require the use of acid dyes. Purchase the type of dye you need for your jacket from an art supply, craft store or online supplier. Paula Burch’s informative dyeing site recommends Procion MX for cellulose dyeing and Lanaset dyes for protein fibers. Check the instructions for your chosen dye for additional ingredients needed for the recipe to make sure you have everything on hand before you start mixing.

Prepare your dye according to the recipe instructions. Wear a face mask to avoid breathing any dust from powdered dyes. Mix your dye solution in the container you chose for dyeing and make sure it is stirred thoroughly. Put on your rubber gloves to protect your hands. Submerge the winter jacket entirely in the dye mixture. Stir the jacket with your wooden broom handle constantly to avoid dye-resistant spots. When using a washing machine, reset the washer to the agitation cycle several times so the dye solution doesn’t drain too early.

Rinse your dyed winter jacket thoroughly to remove all excess dye, or you might have dye bleeding during future washes. Wipe out your washing machine to prevent stains on your clothes in the next wash cycle. Let the dyed jacket dry completely before wearing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use safety glasses while stirring the liquid dye mixture to avoid chemicals splashing into your eyes.

References

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