How to dye clothes black

This is just a bunch of random information which was not included in the Dye It Black FAQ.

Dyeing Tips

How To Dye

Don't use a Washing machine. Get a Big Pot (no, not that one, I said a Big Pot.

  1. Put the object in that you wish to die, and fill it with enough water to cover the object and then some.
  2. Remove the object. (This is done to make sure that when you put the article of clothing back in, you don't die the stove.
  3. Put the pot on the stove and boil the water. The hotter the better. Unfortunately it is difficult to get the water much above 212°F (100°C).
  4. Add the Dye. Approxametly twice what the package says and stir (no, not with your arm, and don't use the spoon that you stir spaghetti with either)
  5. Add the garment.
  6. Boil for a while, turn off the heat and let cool. When the Big Pot is cool enough, put in a corner overnight.
  7. The next day rinse the garment out with cold water as well as the pot.
  8. Put the garment back in the pot and fill with vinegar. Let set a day or two, and wash in cold water with about half the amount of laundry soap you normally use.


27 Jun 1994

Tips for "undyable" Fabrics

Don't use chlorine bleach, use "color remover" like RIT makes. I think it's an oxygen bleach (not as acidic) but I don't remember what's on the label. If it doesn't seem to be working, try putting the articles in a big pot on the stove for a while....

I was once told I couldn't dye some old permanent press O.D. green USAF fatigues black... I took this as a challenge.

I put the shirt, with two bottles of dye into a 16-quart enamel pot, with enough water to cover, quite a bit of distilled white vinegar (as a "mordant"), put the lid on, and boiled for about two hours. When I fished them out, even the plastic buttons were black. (and they stayed black for some years before the outer layer of plastic wore away)

Try this for "undyable" fabrics like synthetics.


5 Sep 1994

Washing Tips

Always wash blacks in cold. And also (and this applies to all clothes) You really only need about half the amount of Laundry Detergent that the box claims you do. Unless you are addicted to mud puddles and crawling around under your car for hours trying to get that damn rear main oil seal out.


27 Jun 1994


(quoted from a box of Persil Colour)

First turn the clothes inside out. This will protect the suface of the fabric from rubbing in the machine which may cause fading, especially along the seams. then wash in Persil Colour. It's especially formulated without bleach or brighteners and helps prevent coloured clothes, especially dark colours, from fading.

AFAIK, Persil is only available in the UK.

Edited and HTMLised by Bob