I attempted to dye our bedroom sheets black, but it didn’t work like I’d hoped. They kind of have a cool mottled grey leather look now. Not what I was going for, but definitely interesting.
My sheets were originally a boring tan color that I never really liked, and since we painted our bedroom walls, they totally clashed with the room. However, they have a high thread count and are very soft, so I didn’t want to get rid of them. Luckily they are 100% cotton, which is the best fabric to dye. I thought black sheets would look excellent.
I once dyed a small piece of fabric a beautiful deep purple color. The piece was small enough that I stuck it in a pot of boiling water on the stove and let the dye cook into the fabric for about 20-30 minutes. Because of that experience, I know that very hot water will dye a dark color very well. Unfortunately, queen-sized sheets are too big to fit in a pot.
How not to dye sheets #1
First, I tried dying them in the kitchen sink. My logic was that I could boil water on the stove and pour it into the sink easily. No, I guess I didn’t think that one all the way through. I should also add that our kitchen sink is old, stained, and peeling. Please, do NOT dye in your sink unless you’re okay with a stained sink. Ours is still slightly grey.
I pre-soaked the sheets, added powdered RIT dye and salt to boiling water, and put it all in the sink for several hours. The results were pretty bad. The sink was not big enough, which is an understatement. The sheets were so crammed into it that parts of the sheets never even touched the dye.
Lesson learned: do not cram fabric you want to dye. It needs room to flow and absorb the dye.
The easiest way to dye fabric is in a washing machine. Rit dye even makes the video below showing how, although I noticed she doesn’t actually put the dye into the washing machine, which made me nervous about staining my washer. I have a fairly new front loader washing machine that I didn’t want to dye black, so I opted not to dye my sheets in it. Maybe I should have.
How not to dye sheets #2
Instead I found a bigger sink. We have a laundry sink in the garage next to the washing machine. I wouldn’t be able to use boiling water, but it’s next to the hot water heater, so the water comes out pretty hot. I filled the sink up halfway with very hot water, added liquid Rit dye (it dyes a little more deeply than powdered), poured in some salt, and added my pre-soaked sheets. I used a stick to stir the fabric around.
I stirred my sheets for about 20 minutes and again every few hours for the next two days. Well, ok, it was more shoving and smooshing the fabric because the sink was still a little too small. The dye soaked into every part of the sheet, but not very evenly.
After soaking the sheets for two days, I rinsed them out in the same sink, then washed them on hot in my washing machine to set the color. I was disappointed when they came out looking something like grey camouflage. Not only was the sink not big enough for a set of sheets, but I probably should have used 2 bottles of liquid dye for that much fabric.
One day I will try dying my sheets again because I really do think solid black sheets would be awesome. Until then, my textured looking grey sheets match my room and have a funky style that is growing on me. I can live with them.
If you have any experience with dying sheets or any fabric a dark color, please share your tips and ideas in the comments. I would appreciate the help!