Home Crochet baby clothesColoring fabrics - instructions + the best home remedies and natural colors

Coloring fabrics - instructions + the best home remedies and natural colors

  • Dye fabrics at home
    • More about the fabrics
    • With textile paint
    • Color gradient
    • With plant colors
    • Decorative pattern

Dyeing fabrics is a great way to enhance textiles and customize them. With little effort your garments, curtains or pillowcases receive a completely new design in radiant colors. In addition to the most uncomplicated variant with finished textile paint, there are also effective alternatives from natural sources. Who observes some important details, achieves with all methods an intensive result exactly as desired.

Dye fabrics at home

The bedding looks pretty grainy and colorless "> More about the fabrics

No matter which of the following methods you choose to dye your fabrics, the following approach applies: All textiles should be freshly washed and free of stains. Because such blemishes would only intensify through the dyeing and remain visible despite new radiance. In order for the pieces to survive the dyeing process unscathed, they must also be washable at least 40 degrees. Check this in the label before.

In addition, the initial color of the fabrics plays a role: it quickly becomes clear that the little black can never become a little yellow. The basic color is just too dark for that. The brighter the output tone, the cleaner and stronger the result becomes. White is therefore optimal, but also a base in light blue, pink or light yellow, for example, can produce beautiful results. In these cases, the color achieved will be slightly darker, and influenced by the already existing undertone. Example: A light blue shirt over-dyed with a strawberry red textile dye will result in a slightly bluish darker red.

Unfortunately, not all fibers accept the color equally. Basically, pure natural fibers are optimally dyeable, whereas synthetic materials are not. Mixtures develop a lighter, pastel tone. The more natural fibers in your textile piece are included, the better your result. Here is an overview:

Dyeable fibers:

  • cotton
  • Linen, half linen
  • viscose
  • cellulose
  • Mixed fibers with at least 60% share of the above natural fibers

Non-dyeable fibers:

  • Synthetic fibers such as polyester, acrylic, polyacrylic, polyamide
  • Silk (except natural colors)
  • Wool (except natural colors)

Important: Even textiles made from well dyeable natural fibers are often provided with synthetic seams. Since these hardly accept the color as described, they remain in the original tone. In particular, if you dye fabrics in very large color jumps or want to achieve very dark target colors, this results in a strong contrast between seams and other textiles. That may look chic - or not. Be sure to include this factor in your color choice.

With textile paint

You need:

  • Textile dye in the desired tone and sufficient quantity (eg Simplicol, from the drugstore or to buy online)
  • possibly additional coloring salt (if not contained in the main product)
  • Washing machine


Step 1: First weigh the laundry to be dyed in the dry state. This will allow you to safely determine how much color you want to use to achieve your desired color result. The more material, the more packages will be needed. For details, refer to your product.

Tip: As an orientation, at Simplicol, for example, 600 g of fabric will reach the target color displayed on the package. 1200 g, however, achieve a slightly lighter, but still very intense color tone.

2nd step: Then you moisten the clean laundry well. This works best with a small bowl in the bath or shower. Immerse everything and then wring it out again.

Step 3: Now put the completely wet laundry in the washing machine as usual.

Step 4: Carefully cut the bag of the dye fixer and place it in the washing machine as well.

Step 5: Now start an easy-care program at 40 degrees.

Step 6: Wait for about five minutes.

Step 7: After this time, pour the dye into the detergent compartment and rinse with one liter of clear water.

Step 8: Now wait for the wash program to complete.

Step 9: Then start the washing program again, but this time with detergent.

10th step: dry the laundry and you're done! Any stains on the washing machine can be easily removed easily with vinegar or detergent.

Color gradient

A special creative option is not to dye the entire piece of fabric, but to achieve a great color gradient with a matching darker shade. Example: A yellow garment could be jazzed up with a bright red. The gradient would then range from this red through a flowing orange to the output tone yellow.


  • textile Color
  • two large bowls with 40 degrees hot water
  • long spoon or similar- household gloves
  • optional: floor cover with newspapers or painter's tarpaulin

That is how it goes:

Step 1: Fill both bowls with 40 degrees hot water. Then work quickly, so that the temperature does not deteriorate too much.

Step 2: In one of the bowls stir with your spoon the color and the associated coloring salt or the color fixative.

Tip: do not forget gloves! Protect the surrounding objects and possibly also the floor from splashes.

Step 3: Now immerse your fabric in the bowl of clear water to moisten it well. As a result, he absorbs the color better.

Step 4: Wring out a little and then carefully dive into the bowl with the color on the side where you want to start your color gradient, as far as the color gradient should be.

Step 5: Now pull the textile a little way out of the paint. The lower area, however, always remains in it. So it takes on the most color, which then gradually becomes lighter towards the top.

Step 6: Immerse again until the desired end of the color gradient.

Step 7: Repeat steps 5 and 6 for about five minutes.

Step 8: After that, let the lower part of the gradient rest in color for another five minutes. The upper part remains wetted with the already absorbed color, but is not in this.

Tip: When dyeing, always lightly move the substances in the bowl with the wooden spoon. To smooth out wrinkles that might otherwise cause color stains.

Step 9: If you like the color, then go back to the clear water and wash out the fabric a little bit. Otherwise, repeat the procedure until the nuance is intense enough for you.

Step 10: Now you can rinse your laundry in the shower or bath completely or wash in the washing machine to remove paint residue.

With plant colors

Those who prefer it naturally, can also achieve great results with the power of plants and simple home remedies. Even in the Middle Ages and far earlier, it was popular to beautify fabrics with vegetable dyes. Of course, the results are a bit gentler than chemical dyeing. However, the natural process has the advantage that wool and silk can also be treated. In addition, each textile is unique, since all Därbebäder react uniquely in this way. And last but not least, this gentle variant also gives allergy sufferers the opportunity to dye their fabrics.

In order for the fibers to absorb the colors correctly, you need an extra step before the actual fabric dyeing: the stain. The selected mordant may also affect the color intensity. Therefore, in advance, an overview of the possible natural colors and their suitable mordants:

  • Beige to brown -> black tea (stain: vinegar)
  • Brown -> coffee (stain: vinegar)
  • Light yellow -> chamomile (stain: vinegar)
  • Strong golden yellow -> Turmeric (pickling: vinegar or alum)
  • Orange -> onion skin (stain: vinegar)
  • Light green -> spinach (stain: vinegar)
  • Green -> birch, stinging nettle, yarrow (stain: iron sulphate)
  • Blue -> Indigo (Stain: not necessary)
  • Violet -> elderberries (stain: alum)
  • Pink -> blackberry, cherry, raspberry, strawberry (stain: salt), red cabbage (stain: vinegar)
  • Red -> madder (for light red stain: alum, middle red stain: copper sulfate, claret stain: chrome kali)

Tip: Alum and other non-household pickling agents are available at the pharmacy.

You need:

  • the plants or berries for your color preference
  • the associated pickling agent
  • a big pot
  • stove
  • Household gloves


Step 1: Wash your fabric at 40 to 60 degrees and without conventional detergents or softeners to rid it of chemicals.

2nd step: Prepare the pickling bath. In a big pot mix:

  • about a liter of water and a quarter liter of vinegar
  • about one liter of water and half a liter of salt
  • about one liter of water and a teaspoon of alum or other mordant

Tip: The more material, the more water is needed of course. Then increase the proportion of stain evenly proportional.

Step 3: Soak your fabric in the stain for one to two hours at low heat, depending on the amount.

Step 4: Then rinse the fabric thoroughly with clear water in the bath or shower.

Step 5: Prepare the dyebath now. Heat in your pot several liters of water according to the amount of your laundry to be dyed. Easy to simmer.

Step 6: Now add the colorants, ie your plant parts or berries.

Step 7: How long your fabric stays in the dyebath depends on how hard you want the result. As a guideline is about one hour at medium heat.

Tip: In terms of exposure time, it is advisable to experiment, since the individual conditions of stove, water quality, type of fabric, etc. can vary greatly and thus also influence the necessary intensity of the procedure.

Step 8: Stir now and then to allow the paint to spread evenly, avoiding color stains in possible fabric folds.

Step 9: If the substance in the pot shows the desired color, take it out of the dyebath.

Step 10: Rinse your clothes thoroughly with cold water until no more ink flows.

Decorative pattern

Similar to the batik, you can not only dye your fabrics, but at the same time provide them with pretty patterns. For this, tie your textile tightly with rubber or fabric ribbons. At the binding sites and folding edges, the color can not work so well. As a result, these areas remain brighter and make up the creative patterns.

As with the batik technique, there are different types of bandage available, which then in turn achieve different designs. Here it is worthwhile to try out what you like most, because the result is always very individual. Some ways to bind at a glance:

  • Unknot individual areas for ring-shaped patterns. For shirts or sweaters, apply one or more knots at regular intervals on each sleeve.
  • Wrap the entire fabric as if wringing and then tape. Here arise spiral-like patterns.
  • Symmetrical shapes such as curtains or towels fold over each other edge to edge until a small package is created. Fix this by tape. This results in parallel stripes or checks.
  • Pull a piece of fabric up and set it all around. In this simple way conjure a circle on it.

A detailed guide to the batik we have here for you: Batik instructions

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