How to Dye a Quilt

How to dye a quilt - perfect for old dingy quilts that you LOVE but just need a refresh!

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Do you guys have any quilts laying around your house that have seen better days? You know that one that is SO soft, and the perfect weight, that you just love using more than any other blanket, but it’s kinda *too* well loved? I had one of those. My quilt was originally cream colored and there were stains on it, and it was just dingy from so many years of being used all the time. I would be embarrassed if it was left out in plain sight when people came over! But, there is no way I’d get rid of this quilt. It’s amazing. So I decided that something needed to be done. I looked up ‘how to dye a quilt.’ I didn’t get a lot of results, but I had dyed a few things before, so I thought I would just go for it and pray for the best. Thankfully it dyed really well and I’m super happy with the results! It’s looking so much better! 

I used Rit dye to dye my quilt. I have used Rit in the past and always had a good experience. I decided I wanted a turquoise-ish color so I consulted Rit’s ‘Color Library’ and then from there kind of made up my own formula for it as I went. The two colors I mixed were Aquamarine and Teal.

dye-a-quilt-rit-dye

This is what the quilt looked like before. As you can see, it was beautifully made. I honestly don’t even know where this thing originally came from, I just have had it for a long time, it was at my parents house before I had it, and it’s kind of a mystery. But anyway, it just needed some TLC.

How to dye a quilt - perfect for old dingy quilts that you LOVE but just need a refresh!

This quilt is big, so I knew it wouldn’t work to do it in my washing machine like you can do with smaller items. I thought about using our bath tub, but it made me a little nervous to put so much dye in a bright white tub, so I decided I would utilize my daughter’s $10 kiddie pool. Worst case scenario, I buy a new one. This worked really well! The only hard part was getting hot water out to the backyard. I did quite a few laps from the kitchen sink to the backyard to fill this up with hot water. Then I found the biggest stirring stick I could find, and went for it.

Here is a step-by-step tutorial:

  1. Choose dye colors and decide what you will dye in (bathtub, washing machine, kiddie pool, etc.)
  2. Follow directions on bottle of dye to decide your ratio of dye to water. Fill vessel with hot water and dye.
  3. Insert quilt and stir often.
  4. Continue process until you feel your dye has saturated your quilt well enough. I kept mine in for about two hours, because I knew I wanted mine to be really blue, and it just kept seeming like it needed more time.
  5. Rinse quilt in washing machine. (I did two full wash cycles but without any soap.)
  6. Dry quilt, tada!

How to dye a quilt - perfect for old dingy quilts that you LOVE but just need a refresh!

I am very happy with how this quilt turned out! There are a few spots that are not perfectly even but it doesn’t bother me. It’s better than the stains on the cream color that were going on before. Generally though, it dyed evenly and it looks great. It totally feels new again.

How to dye a quilt - perfect for old dingy quilts that you LOVE but just need a refresh!

If you are embarking on a quilt dying adventure, I hope this has helped you! I have dyed things before and results always seem to vary, so I wouldn’t try this on a precious family heirloom that can’t be replaced. Just a tip. But it’s perfect for a quilt that just needs some TLC, or one from a thrift store or something!

How to dye a quilt - perfect for old dingy quilts that you LOVE but just need a refresh!  How to dye a quilt - perfect for old dingy quilts that you LOVE but just need a refresh!

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    Comments

    Tawny Greene

    Thank you so much for this post! I am going to try dying my cream quilt gray. Do you think I should get gray dye or black?

      Sarah + Jessica

      You are so welcome! I’m not sure… I guess I would try gray first and then if you feel like you need a deeper color then try black? I hope it works well for you!!!

      Sarah

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