Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tutorial: How to Dye a Blazer (or some other piece of clothing) with RIT dye

Ever wanted to dye something another colour? Me too.
And I've never had the guts to try it for fear I would a) get dye all over something important (like my countertops) or b) ruin a piece of clothing.

Well today I got over that fear.

I've always wanted a cute black cropped canvas blazer. I cannot find one that I like well enough to buy. I do however have a cute cropped khaki blazer that I bougvht at Smart Set many years ago. A few weeks ago I was putting it on and thought "I wish I could find a blazer like this one in black" and it hit me that I would try to make it black. So I went out and bought a box of RIT dye.

This is my blazer before. Cute. I've had a lot of good wear out of this piece, but I felt it was time for a change.

Ok. Down to business...

To start you will need:

1. a washing machine (I think dying something without one could be very messy according to the website. I wouldn't try it. Also, washine machine not pictured!)
2. a glass or metal bowl or container to pre mix your dye.
3. something to stir your pre mixed dye with (I've chosen a plastic fork!)
4. box of RIT dye (next time I'd use 2 boxes for a darker colour)
5. rubber gloves (so I don't dye me!)
6. 2 cups of hot water

I cut open the box of dye to find the instructions and found them a little cryptic. So I found the RIT dye website and found the tips and instructions there much more helpful (why they wouldn't have the same exact instructions on the inside of the box I just don't know...).

For your convenience, I've copied them below. I followed the instructions exactly and was thrilled with the results!


Use this technique for maximum convenience and especially for large items.

Fill machine with enough hot water for fabric to move freely. Refer to the chart below for the right amount of dye to add. Pre-dissolve powder in 2 cups of hot water. Add pre-dissolved powder or liquid to hot dye bath.

1.Wet fabric in hot water. Uncrumple and add to dye bath.

2.Set machine for extended wash cycle. Fabric should be in dye bath for at least 30 minutes before rinse  begins. (You can reset your washing machine before the rinse cycle begins for extended wash cycle.)

3.Rinse in cold water until water runs clear. Wash deep shades in warm water with mild detergent and rinse thoroughly in cool water.

4.Dry item in dryer or hang to dry.

5.Clean washing machine using highest water level with hot water, detergent and 1 cup chlorine bleach using complete wash cycle. Clean lint traps. Plastic or rubber machine parts may be tinted but will not stain laundry.

As for washing your "new" piece, the RIT website recommends washing it by itself in cold water for the first few times and then washing it with like colours only. I would also recommend hanging it to dry as this will prolong the life of the colour.

Here is my blazer post dye and dry. It is, as you can see, not black. more charcoal. (I took this picture at night after I had worn the blazer to work-hence the flower pin-so it looks a little less crisp than the before picture) That is alright with me. I might just wear and wash it a few times and try to dye it again and see what happens (I'll post the results if I end up doing this.)

Side Note: you can kindof see my new haircut in this picture.

Well maybe better in this one:

So, post thoughts? I will definatly try this again! I'll be looking for things to experiment with at the thrift store next time I go and I will buying more colours of RIT dye to try! It was easy and fun!
I hope I've helped and aleviated some fears you may have had (like I did) about dying clothing (let's also remember I started out easy dying something 100% cotton black), but I would recommend this for anyone adventurous (or curious!) who has a make and mend attitude towards fashion.

Lisa. xo


  1. That turned out great! I have so many things I'd love to dye another color!

  2. looks awesome! last time i tried to dye something black it turned out dreadfully... you may have inspired me to give it another shot.


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