What Happens When I Dye…?

We get asked question all the time on our dying videos about really general and really specific projects that you guys are working on.

Dying is something that takes a long time to perfect, and most people only do it when they are in a pinch. We know that knowledge is power though, so we decided to start a series about dying. We looked through your FAQ’s, found some common themes, and used our knowledge to run some experiments.

So this is the first of many, but we started with questions revolving around the theme of “what happens when…?” because that is one of the questions we answer most often.

So, without further ado…

Can I dye over something that already has been dyed?

Remember that the rules of color mixing are key. Whatever color you dye over will just mix with the new color.

  • We tested this out with a hot pink polyester bathing suit cover up and used purple Rit Dye More
    • When it was done drying, the sheer fabric that made up most of the cover up was a nice magenta color, while the cotton blended lacy material turned to a dark eggplant color
    • Its important to remember that synthetic materials are harder to dye and require more time and heat
sundress Dyed cover up

Can I dye over screen printed designs?

Color inconsistency can be minimized by stirring your fabric in the water the whole time it is in the dye bath

Also, sure! But the same rules as before apply

  • Especially if you are using Dye More. In many cases the All purpose dye will not affect the vinyl printed or screen printed design because it is synthetic
  • For example –
    • This shirt was a light purple and was dyed to be a richer shade of purple but the vinyl printing stayed the same. When using Dye more though, the vinyl will most likely dye, so keep that in mind
wrap-top Dyed vinyl print

Can I dye over a pattern?

You may be able to make the pattern disappear though, like in the case of the next project we tried out when we tried..

Sure! The results of this will usually be a combination of the results from dying over a color and the screen printed designs. This time around though, the pattern will likely dye. So like in the case of this patterned shirt, both the white and pink patterned material were dyed purple.

red-pattern-top-2 Patterned Top

Can I Dye Something Black?

Getting pure black can be a little difficult, especially when trying to dye over a pre-existing color. For best results, the item you are dying should be made of natural fibers (you are going to have a hard time dying synthetic colors a true black) and if it is colored, use the opposing undertone along with the black dye to cancel out the hues of the original color. Stove top method. Use extra dye. Use fixative.

  • We were just about as successful as one could be at getting this green patterned shirt to be black. It still has some pretty significant green undertones though
  • Getting straight black is HARD especially if your fabric is made of synthetic material so keep that in mind before dying
green-pattern-top-3 Dye something black

Can I Dye Something with Buttons?

Dying buttons can be a tricky task because you often don’t know what the button is made out of. I tested an assortment of buttons in both dye more and all-purpose dye and most plastic based buttons only turned color in the dye more bath. Both dyed the wooden button.

buttons Dyed Buttons

Can I Dye Over Bleach Stains?

It depends. This green shirt had been bleached accidentally years ago. So we tried it in the dye bath and it worked pretty well but in some places you can still see where the bleach had been on the shirt.

bleach-stains-beforewordpress Bleach Stains Before
bleach-stains-afterwordpress Bleach Stains After

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