How-To: Dip-Dye

May 16, 2013

Call us hippies-at-heart if you must, but one of our favorite DIY techniques is dip-dyeing. In this three-part series, we’re going to show you how to dip-dye items from your bedroom, closet and kitchen. First up is a cotton pillowcase. We chose a dark blue dye that reminded us of our buyer’s inspiration trip to the Aegean, but you can use any dye you wish.

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One of the most important things before undergoing any DIY project is to be prepared! We like to set out all of our supplies beforehand so we don’t realize we’re missing something halfway through.

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Boil one gallon of water in a kettle. Pour the package of RIT dye into the bottom of your large glass bowl and pour the boiling water over the dye.

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Put on your rubber gloves and stir the dye and water with a wooden spoon. Make sure to stir thoroughly until all dye is dissolvedyou don’t want any powder left behind. Once completely dissolved, add the laundry detergent and continue to stir.

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In a sink, wet your pillowcase to the point you wish the dye to reach. We suggest half to ¾ of the way up from the bottom. Twist out all excess water to make sure it won’t drip.

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Lower your pillowcase into the dye solution to the point where you dampened it. This initial dip-dye needs to be very quick, as the dye absorbs very fast. Literally dip and pull out to the next section. This can be as thin or as wide as you like.

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Let the color develop in the second section for 20 seconds and pull the pillowcase up to the last section. Hold this last section for 30 seconds or more, depending on how saturated you want the color.

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Pull out the pillowcase, making sure to keep your hands on only the part with dye, so to not spread color to the white section. Twist out all excess dye.

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Head back to the sink and run the dip-dyed section of the pillowcase under lukewarm water until the water runs clear. Twist out all excess water, again keeping clear of the white section.

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Leave your pillowcase to dry and when ready, wash it on its own to ensure it does not leak any excess dye on your other clothing. Voila! It’s time to pull onto your pillow, sleepyhead.