It’s no secret that I love to shop second hand, however if you were to look in my closet and didn’t know better – you would think I shop at all the high end stores.

Over the years I’ve developed this bizarre skill to cruise the aisles at Goodwill and quickly pinpoint an article of clothing from a nice store or designer without looking at the label. I know, crazy, right?

Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, GAP, J Crew…my closet is full of clothes from these places. I try to buy things in good condition, but recently I bought a couple of things that I thought I’d like to try to fix up with some fresh color. If you’ve always wanted to try fabric dye, a Goodwill find makes a great guinea pig. Most of the shirts cost around $3-$4 and a pack of dye is less than $2. Why not give it a shot?

I found this black BCBG hoodie that I absolutely LOVED. It’s soft and has a nice shape, as well as super cute buttons along the cuff. It was a bit faded though, so I bought some Dylon in Velvet Black to see if I could freshen it up a bit. Generally dye works best on natural fibers, and this hoodie was mostly cotton with a bit of nylon. I really had no idea if it would work and how well. But black over black seemed like a safe bet, so I gave it a go.

dylon velvet blackI followed the directions -mostly. It says to stir constantly for 15 minutes, and I mean I don’t really have time for that so…

But I did leave it in about an hour per the package, stirring regularly during that time. Because the color didn’t change, it is more difficult to see if it worked and even harder to photograph. But in real life, I do notice the color is more saturated.

how to dye clothing

dylon fabric dye in black

Hard to tell, I know. But how about this one?

dying a linen shirt

I have been wearing this J. Jill linen tunic all summer, but it has gotten washed out over time (actually it was a bit faded when I bought it too, but it didn’t bother me). Also, if you look in the bottom left hand corner, there were a couple of bleach-like spots on it that I didn’t even notice until a few weeks into wearing it. Nevertheless, I thought I would try to work some magic again! I chose the Dark Green Dylon, since the teal options were too bright for my taste. I decided I would be ok with whatever greenish version I would end up with, whether it took the color completely or just deepened the teal. Again, it’s really hard to photograph clothes apparently (or I’m just insanely bad at it), but at least the color difference is more obvious! It’s bright and saturated, and I like the new green 🙂

dylon fabric dye on linen

Refreshing Clothes with Dylon Fabric Dye

The shadows make the color look uneven, but it’s not in real life! You can see the bleach spots didn’t take the dye as much as the rest of the shirt, but they are less noticeable in person than they were before. Overall I’m really pleased with the results! I would definitely try it again. I’m actually considering dying a rug, have any of you done that? How about your clothes? What brands of dye have you tried?

2 Responses

  1. NAN

    Any suggestions for dying sofa fabric? (uncut corduroy) code
    is “w” if that helps…its tan now…want to make it dark gray/charcoal

    Thanks in advance…

    • Rachael Evans

      Oooh that’s a tough one Nan…I’m not sure. My best tip would be to either find a fabric that has a similar code and test on a piece of that, or maybe find a piece of the fabric from the sofa that’s not visible and test there first? Let me know how it goes if you try it!


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