If you want to dye a fleece blanket, it is important to know what type of fleece you are working with. Some fleece is made of acrylic products like polyester. These blankets are very difficult to dye, and may never dye with an even color. Your only option is to buy polyester specific dye products from the store, and hope for the best. On the other hand, if you are trying to die a blanket made of organic products, like a wool fleece, your color choices and dying methods become nearly limitless.
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Dying Fleece with Food Coloring
Start by washing the blanket you intend to dye. Use a cooking pot, preferably a large Dutch oven or cold packer, which will not only contain your whole blanket, but also enough water to completely submerge it. Soak the wool in a mixture of 1/3 cup vinegar per gallon of water, mixed together in the pot. It should be allowed to soak for at least an hour, but no more than 24 hours. Because it is the vinegar that encourages the wool to hold color, the longer it soaks, the darker your dying is likely to be. After allowing your blanket to soak add enough water in your pot to fully submerge the blanket and add about 2 tsp. of the food coloring of your choice into the water. Also add 2 tbs. of vinegar. Bring the pot to a boil, then lower the heat, allowing it to simmer until all the dye is soaked up. Remove and immediately rinse.
Dying Fleece with Drink Mix
This is the way to dye woolen fleece for a vibrant color and with a safe dye. Soak the fleece in a water-vinegar mix for at least a 1/2 hour. Remove the blanket from the pot and rinse the pot. Mix packets (start with four or five) of drink mix and water until the liquid mixture in the pot is the color you want. Use more drink packets for a more vibrant dye, less for a more pastel overall color. Bring the mixture to a steady heat at about 175 degrees Farenheit and allow to simmer until the blanket has absorbed all the color. The water will turn a cloudy white to clear color. Remove the blanket, rinse and hang to dry.
Dying Fleece in the Washing Machine
There are several types of permanent fabric dyes available which can be used in your washing machine. Most of these dyes are simply added during a specific cycle while running your blanket through a washer. They are, however, only recommended for top loading machines. If you choose to machine dye follow the specific dye instructions on the packaging. Always run an extra rinse cycle with the washer empty and insure there is no dye residue after using these products before returning your washer to regular use.