How to Dye a Sweater Black

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A fresh dye job can revitalize an old sweater.

A black sweater is a timeless addition to a wardrobe. It can make any winter outfit look classy, and it will match almost anything. If you find yourself in need of a black sweater, don't run out to buy one -- you can easily dye one you already have. Black dye is easy to use and will cover up any other color without the need to bleach the clothing. A fresh dye job can also help an old sweater look new.


Things You'll Need

  • Sweater

  • Washing machine

  • Black fabric dye

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Step 1

Start with a clean sweater. If it has been worn recently, wash it before dyeing. Hang it up to dry or put it in the dryer.

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Step 2

Pick out a black fabric dye. You can get fabric dye at most craft stores and online. The most permanent type of dye for clothing is fiber-reactive dye, which forms a chemical bond with the fiber molecules. Procion MX and Cibacron F are good fiber-reactive dyes.

Step 3

Saturate the sweater with water in the shower or sink just before you begin the dyeing process. Meanwhile, start your washer at its hottest wash setting.

Step 4

Use some of the hot water in the washing machine to dissolve the dye powder in a separate bowl or container. Pour this mixture back into the washing machine.


Step 5

Pour the dye water back into the washing machine as the basin fills up. When it is full, put in the sweater and close the lid.

Step 6

Let the wash cycle run to its end with the sweater in the wash basin. Open the lid periodically to be sure the sweater has not twisted up. If it does twist, untwist it so the dye will infuse evenly.


Step 7

If you want to give the dye extra time to soak in, run the wash cycle again and let the rinse cycle complete. When it stops, check the sweater to see if dye is still coming out of it. Run another rinse cycle if necessary.

Step 8

Remove your newly black sweater from the washer and hang it up to dry naturally.


Wear plastic gloves during the dyeing process to keep the dye off your fingers.


Avoid using bleach to wash your sweater, as this can fade the dye.



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