How to Dye a Straw Hat

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One way to give new life to a straw hat is to dye it. This method of dyeing uses a dauber that lets you dye the hat evenly or experiment with designs. Once you learn the basics of dyeing your hat, you can experiment with different colors and patterns.

What You'll Need

  • Damp cloth
  • Newspapers or plastic cover for work surface
  • Latex gloves
  • Straw hat
  • Bucket
  • Dauber or other applicator
  • Liquid dye
  • Color fixative


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The Dyeing Process

  1. Clean the straw hat with a damp cloth, removing any dirt or residue that may interfere with dyeing.
  2. Cover the work surface in newspapers or a plastic cover. Put on latex gloves to protect your skin.
  3. Prepare the liquid dye bath in a bucket according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  4. Place the clean straw hat onto the work surface. Using the dauber or other applicator, dip directly into the liquid dye.
  5. Dab the dye evenly around the hat just as you would dab a sponge, letting the dye soak completely into the fibers. Use even strokes to ensure a consistent color.
  6. Apply a second layer of dye if desired.
  7. When you are happy with the evenness of the color, spray the hat with a color fixative. Allow to dry for at least 30 minutes.
  8. Rinse the hat in a sink until the water runs clear. Reshape if needed and allow to dry.



A straw hat made from a plant fiber such as jute or hemp will dye more easily than one made from a synthetic fiber. Check your hat's label to find out its fiber.

Experimenting with Other Techniques

Once you've tried the basic dyeing process, you can experiment with other designs. For example, use the applicator to paint polka dots all over the straw hat. You can also apply several layers of the same color from darker to lighter on the brim for an ombre look.


If you're uncertain about trying a specific dyeing technique, experiment with the straw on the inside of the hat first to test the pattern.



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