Can I Dye My Clothes Black? (Dyeing White Fabric Black)

Whether you want to be Goth or just enjoy looking slim when you wear black clothes, the black color appeals to many people. For some, the darker color hides the dirt better or they make their light-colored hair pop. Black certainly has an effect on many people.

Can I dye my clothes black? Yes, you can dye clothes black. All you need is the right dye for the material you want to dye. But one thing you have to watch out for is that those stains you want to hide, won’t disappear after dyeing your clothes. You may get a very uneven look.

To learn more about dyeing your clothes black, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about before you dive right in and make critical errors in the process. Not all fabrics respond the same way to dyeing.

Can You Dye Clothes With Black Dye?


Yes, you can renew your old and faded clothing and restore them to like-new color conditions by using a black dye color. The trick is to pick the right dye for the fabric you want to change or restore the color.

When you are trying to dye synthetic clothing black you may have a much more difficult time of it. Not every dye made will work on this type of material. You have to have special dyes that are geared to handle the chemicals included in your synthetic materials including the ones that try to retain the original color.

Because many dyes require hot water you have to be careful of the material you put in that dye bath. Some fabrics will shrink, others will stretch and still, more will melt or deform. Dyeing clothes is not as simple as adding dye to water and tossing your clothes in the mixture.

There are instructions to follow even when dyeing something black.

Can You Dye White Fabric Black?

Yes, you can and this is probably going to be the easiest color to change. Natural fabrics start off as a pure white or off white material and then during the manufacturing process, different dyes are added to bring you the different colored clothing you like to see.

The key to this dye option is to choose the right fabric. Not every fabric will be as accepting as dye so you have to be careful and not just grab any old dye off the shelf when the label says black.

Natural fibers are easier to dye than synthetic ones unless they have been treated with a colorfast chemical. Then you may find them as difficult to dye as synthetic ones. The chemicals in synthetic fibers are what make it so difficult to dye that fabric.

Also, the dye color is put in early in the manufacturing process so the fibers are colored clear through and are not a surface dye nor have those fibers started off as white.

Dyeing White Fabric Black


One of the very first steps you need to do when you want to dye white clothing is to make sure the fabric is nice and clean. That means that you have to wash the articles of clothing you want to change colors on and then give them enough time to dry.

Then you have to make sure that the fabric won’t shrink or stretch on you during the dyeing process. The reason for that step is because the clothing has to sit in boiling hot water anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes at one time.

There is some good news though. Not every dye is made that way and you should be able to find one brand that doesn’t require hot water. Some of these dye kits are for tie-dyeing your white T-shirts, etc. but they should work with a single color as well.

Or you can go with the permanent marker option but this will take you a lot longer than other dye processes will.

Can You Dye Linen Black?

If you want the best results, you need to pick out your top white linen. The original color of the fabric does influence how the black will look once you are done. Also, so will stains. A dark stain usually comes out lighter and a light stain usually appears darker.

Plus, if you want to have the same color as is shown on the packaging, you need to start out with white linen. If you want a little less brilliance you should use a gray linen shirt or bed sheet, etc.

Just keep in mind that you cannot dye dark colors lighter. Dyes are what is called translucent and only adds color to the color already on the linen. So pick your linen colors carefully.

Just preparing to dye your linens takes almost as long as the dyeing process, depending on the type of dye you use. But proper preparation will save you time in the long run and leave you with little to no mess to clean up.

How to Dye Material Black


The steps are fairly simple and straight forward. You just have to be capable of reading and following directions to get the job done right. The first step is to pick out the clothing you want dyed and wash them. While they are drying you can do the next step.

This is an important step and needs to be done prior to buying the dye brand. Once you know the fibers you need to dye, you do step two go to the store to find the right dye for the fabric.

Step three is getting prepared. Put on old clothes as the dyeing process is not always neat as a pin. Then find all the items you need and they should be listed on the packaging or in the included instructions.

These items will vary depending on the dye method you have chosen to use. Don’t forget to cover your work area with an old tablecloth or piece of plastic. Next, read the instructions carefully and make sure you follow them exactly.

Those instructions are important and help you get the best results possible. With the different dye methods come different instructions. For every pound of clothing you need to use the following measurements:

Powdered dye-- dissolve 1 packet of powder in 2 cups (475 mL) of hot water first, then add it to the 3 gallons (11.4 L).

Liquid dye-- pour 1/2 bottle of liquid dye into 3 gallons (11.4 L) of water.

**Double the amount of dye for dark colors, such as black or forest green.

Then you will have to bring the dye mixture to a boil before adding your articles of clothing. Just make sure the pot you use is large enough to soak all the items you want dyed.

Don’t forget to add the salt and laundry detergent if you are using hot water dyes. Then soak the clothing for up to an hour. If you want really nice rich colors then leave the clothing in the dye a lot longer.

Rinsing is important as well and remember dyes look darker when wet. That is a key factor when checking the color levels of your clothing.

What is The Best Black Dye for Clothes?


The best dye you can buy is the one made for the fabric you want to alter its color. You can’t use dyes made for synthetic materials on natural fibers and the reverse is true as well.

Then you should try to get a non-toxic dye formula to make sure the process is as safe as it can be. But if that is not a possibility, then take the right precautions to protect yourself.

On top of all that there are 5 good brands to choose from. All these brands make a very good dye product and which one you use will be up to your preference and budget. The five top brands are Rit dye, Dylon dyes, Jacquard dyes, Fiebing’s, and Tulip.

How Can I Dye My Clothes Black Naturally?

Believe it or not, there are a lot of natural ingredients you can use independently of each other to create a natural black dye. One option is to use walnut hulls. Not the hulls on the walnuts you get in the store but the ones the walnuts actually grow in on the tree.

You can also use rusty nails, sawtooth oak acorn cups, oak gulls, iris roots, and carob pods. Boiling these items is the usual first step and to get the color to set you most likely need to add a mordant like alum. The more of these ingredients you add the darker the color.

Some Final Words

Dyeing clothing black is not that hard. The best color to start with is white but you can dye other clothing colors black as well.

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