dyeing curtains

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

My house just went through an extensive rehab. I had some of the walls and ceilings painted a soft white. But now I have too many neutral colors in my living room. My curtains are also off-white. I want to dye them a rose color. I know I have seen listed here better dyes than Rit.
Can anyone tell me a good one and where I can get it?

Sultan, WA(Zone 8a)

Firstly, what are your curtains made of? That will play a huge role in the type of dye you'll want to buy. Rit is okay, it's just not very predictable and it fades. Just make sure the water use use in all dye applications is soft or softened. That will help with the color a lot.

Fiber-reactive dyes are best for color fastness and washability because the colorant is permanently bonded to the fibers at the molecular level. The colors are clear and brilliant and does well on most synthetic and natural fibers. You will be using a fixing agent to fix the color. Brands: Procion MX, Procion H, Pro Liquid, Aljo Reactive, Createx Liquid and Cibacron/Fibracron.

Direct dyes are used in a dye bath that requires a hot simmer and maybe some salt (depending on the brand). Good color range and works well on natural, cellulosic fibers like cotton or linen. They fade after the first washing and repeated washings, the fading is more subtle. Brands: Aljo Direct, PRO Diazol Direct.

Acid dyes are designed for silk or other protein fibers like wool. Do you have silk curtains?

Dual Component Dyes are also called household dyes or union dyes, uses a combination of direct and acid dyes. This is the Rit type. Only the portion of the dye in the mixture that has an affinity for the fiber you are dying will be absorbed into the fabric permanently. The rest is washed away. Other brands available are Deka Series L and Cushing.

I've done Batik curtains and I've used a foam stamp and fabric paint to stamp curtains. They turned out great! I was surprised at how well the paint held up the washing machine too!
Any of the dyes I have listed are available on the internet (bestdye.com), but as for locally, I don't know.

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

Not sure what the fabric is. It is kind of a loose weave and feels like a natural fiber. If it were unlined, I'm sure light would come through it in places. It is not silky nor does it have a silky look or feel.
I think I would have to dye these in my washing machine as they are actually drapes and way too big to put them in a boiling pot.

Sultan, WA(Zone 8a)

Then I would use the Dual Component dyes. But if you're curtains are made of polyester . . . I make no garantees! There isn't anything available to the public that will dye polyester effectively, except fabric paint.

I have used Dylon dye on cotton fabric, its not at all suited for synthetic fabrics. But it is a cold water dye that uses a fixative (direct dye). So if you're sure that the curtains are made of natural fibers, Dylon would be a good choice. I have found Dylon at crafting stores. I'm sure it would work nicely in the washing machine, just run a couple of bleach cycles afterwards to clean the machine really good.

Okeechobee, FL(Zone 10a)

If you haven't dyed yet, You might get a fabric you like and either add a border, or make stripes with that. You could also tape off stripes and spray paint them, use a foam stamp and stamp a design on them, or stencil them.
Just some more options.
By the way, Rayon is another natural fiber that can have a transparent nubby texture.

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

Well, it ends up I was wrong. For all their "Natural" look, they are part rayon and part poly.
So which dye do you all recommend?

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Betty, Earth Guild in Asheville on Haywood Street would be a good source of both information and dyes. They supply all the weavers.

Sultan, WA(Zone 8a)

Okay, you can go with the fiber reactive dyes or try Rit. The poly part won't accept the dye well (or as well) as the rayon part will, but that might look really interesting!

If you don't want to take your chances with an experiment, I would use fabric paint. This a curtain I stamped with fabric paint (in the bakcground).

Thumbnail by renwings
Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

I like that Earth Guild. Aren't they in the old Woolworth building?

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Don't know, it was already Earth Guild when I moved to Asheville.

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

Well, you are right sugarweed. They are nubby and have an open weave. But the Earth Guild is the best place, especially for someone who know nothing, like me. Thanks to everyone.

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or register to post.

Upload Images to your reply

    You may upload up to 5 images