Dying an all cotton slip-cover
  • I have a brand new white cotton chair slipcover that i would like to dye. I have never dyed anything before and am confused as to what the best method and dye for this project would be. Is there a dye that is premixed that would work, or do I have to mix the ingredients myself? I have a large top loading washing machine available. Do I need to prewash the cover even though it is brand new, never used? What is the difference between Jacquard dye vs. Dylan or Dharma Fiber dyes? Are Jacquard dyes colorfast? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  • Hi Mary Louise,

    Thanks for writing in -
    I'm going to tackle your questions sort of in order of how you'd proceed - first, YES, you will definitely want to prewash the cover. There is generally sizing or other finishes on new items that can interfere with the uptake of dye. And while we are on the subject - if your slipcover is advertized as 'stain resistant' we can stop right here - any treatment designed to protect fabric from stains will adversely affect the outcome of your dye attempts and we don't recommend risking your item.
    Next; type of dye - you have two options from our dye lines - Procion MX or iDye for Natural Fibers. Either will work well for your purposes, the Procion MX does require the addition of soda ash and we do recommend using salt in the dye process. The iDye comes with all needed in the packet you would purchase. Both can be used in the washing machine, the Procion MX requires only cool/warm water and the iDye requires hot water (the hotter the better).
    Here are the links to the two different dyes - I suggest taking a look at the instructions before making any decision.
    http://jacquardproducts.com/assets/jacquard-site/product-pages/dyes/procion-mx/Procion MX Instructions.pdf
    http://jacquardproducts.com/assets/jacquard-site/product-pages/dyes/idye/iDye Natural Instructions.pdf
    Washfastness; Generally speaking the Procion MX and the iDye are both washfast with the Procion MX being the stronger of the two dyes. Specifically within dye classifications different colors have different fastnesses - http://jacquardproducts.com/assets/jacquard-site/product-pages/dyes/procion-mx/ProcionMX_ColorInfo.pdf
    As for differences between dyes of different manufacturers - if you are asking about Procion MX in particular - ours and Dharma's pretty much differ in color choices only. Procion MX is Procion MX. As for Dylan (Dylon?) I'm not exactly sure what sort of dye that is so I can't speak to that.

    Hope this all helps, don't hesitate to ask if you have more questions.
    annette