Frequently Asked Questions
Colors (6 FAQs)
Yes, colored and printed fabrics can be dyed. It’s a technique called over-dyeing. The existing fabric color will greatly affect the finished color results and the rules of color mixing apply. For example, dyeing an item that is pink with royal blue can produce purple. When dyeing a print, it is important to choose a dye color that will effectively change the background color as well as the colors of the pattern. It’s also important to note that a print cannot be turned into a solid color via overdyeing.
No, sorry, there are no white dyes available. At best, you can remove the black color using Rit Color Remover. This will bring the color to an off-white or cream color. If the garment is cotton, then you could launder it with detergent and 1 cup of bleach to lighten the color.
It really depends on the color of your garment. Many lighter colors can be dyed to a darker color. However a dark color, such as black, cannot be over-dyed to a lighter color, like yellow. To do this, you must first remove the dark color using Rit Color Remover. This will bring the item to an off-white or cream color. Then, you can dye it a lighter color.
Dyeable Fabrics and Materials (38 FAQs)
- Washable fabrics containing natural fibers: cotton, linen, wool, silk and ramie
- Synthetic fibers: rayon and nylon
- Fiber blends: fabrics with at least 60% cotton or other dyeable fiber (note: blends will tint
evenly but will not achieve full color)
- Fabric shoes: cotton canvas sneakers and satin shoes made of silk
- Unfinished wood and wicker: furniture, picture frames, moldings, shutters, wicker baskets,
straw, rattan and sisal squares
- Nylon-based plastics: buttons, fasteners, golf balls and lacrosse sticks
- Natural dried plants and pine cones: dried cornhusks, milkweed, goldenrod, thistle, foxtails and
- Paper: watercolor paper and newspaper for papercrafts and cardmaking
- Miscellaneous: unfinished clay, cement, cork, feathers, fabric lampshades, paraffin (powder dye only), cotton and nylon rope, sand and seashells
- Food for crafts: dried beans, eggshells, seeds and macaroni
Find instructions on how to dye specific materials in the following questions and in our dyeing techniques.
- 100% polyester, acrylic, acetate, fiberglass, spandex, and metallic fibers
- Fabrics with bleach or stain damage, rubber backings or special finishes, such as waterproof or stain resistant
- Fabrics labeled washable only in cold water or “dry clean only”
- Polycarbonate plastics (such as eyeglass frames and lenses)
- Polyethylene plastics (such as golf discs, RC cars, plastic grocery bags)
Note: What Rit will and will not dye applies to the Rit retail products. The Rit commercial ProLine dyes different materials. Please call 866-794-0800 for more information.
For best results, always prewash an item before dyeing. This helps to remove any finishes or sizing that may interfere with dye absorption. Never use fabric softeners. Prewashing helps the fabric to absorb the dye evenly and results in a more accurate color.
Dyeing Specifics (31 FAQs)
It depends upon the weight of the item you are dyeing. As a general guideline, one box of powder dye or ½ bottle (1/2 cup) of liquid dye will color one pound of dry weight fabric (about 3 yards of lightweight fabric). To obtain a lighter color, use less dye. For a darker or brighter color, double the amount of dye used. You can estimate the weight of the item or use a food or home postal scale. For larger items, such as bedding or curtains, weigh yourself; then weigh yourself holding the item(s). The difference is the weight of the item(s).
There is no difference in terms of color or dye performance. The liquid dye is already dissolved in water and more concentrated than the powder dye. So you only need to use half as much when using the liquid dye. Also, since the liquid dye is pre-mixed, this eliminates the need to dissolve the dye in hot water as you need to do with the powder dye before adding it to the dye bath. As a guideline, one bottle of Rit liquid dye is equivalent to two boxes of Rit powder dye.
The powder dye must be completely dissolved before adding it to the dye bath. We recommend mixing the pack of powder dye in 2 cups of very hot water and stirring until it is fully dissolved. Before measuring or pouring the liquid dye, always shake the bottle vigorously to mix the dye.
Products and Purchase (18 FAQs)
Rit is an easy to use, non-toxic dye that can dye most fabrics and other materials such as wood, paper and nylon-based plastics. It’s available in 27 colors in both liquid and powder form, though not all colors are available in both forms. And the packaged colors can be mixed together to create hundreds of other colors.
Rit dyes are a combination of various acid and direct dyes along with sodium chloride. These various dye classes are used so that Rit may dye a wide variety of fabrics and materials.
Storage, Fabric and Laundry Care (21 FAQs)
It’s best to wash your dyed item by itself for the first few times after dyeing in cool water with a mild, non-bleaching detergent. Or, launder in the washing machine with same color items or an old towel with cool water and a mild detergent. Rinse and dry. Silk items and other delicate items can be dry cleaned or laundered.
No. There is absolutely nothing in Rit Dye that can in any way weaken, harm or deteriorate any textile fiber.
Store unopened powder dye in a dry area at room temperature. Moisture may make the powder clump, but it will still dissolve in very hot or boiling water. Store leftover powder dye in a small dry glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. You can note the color on the jar. To store liquid dye, simply twist the cap on very tightly. When stored properly, liquid or powder dye will last for an indefinite period of time.
Techniques (7 FAQs)
We recommend the Sink or Bucket method of dyeing when mixing dyes to create custom colors. It’s also a very easy way to dye a shirt or pair of jeans. The secret is to heat your water on the stove to a very hot temperature (140-160F° degrees) then pour it into a sink, bucket or dishpan for dyeing. After adding the dye, you can test the color with a paper towel or a scrap of white cotton fabric and make adjustments to the color before immersing your item in the dye bath.
Rit Color Remover will remove or reduce the color from most fabrics. This will bring the fabric to an off-white or cream color. Then the fabric can be re-dyed a new color. If the fabric has a pattern such as a print or stripes, Color Remover will not remove the pattern. The pattern will most likely show through after being dyed.