- Black dye, all purpose or fiber reactive
- Container large enough to hold the blanket, water and dye
There are many reasons a person might want to dye a blanket black. One of these reasons is to improve the color of a faded blanket; another is to cover up stains. Additionally, some people choose to decorate their homes with a color scheme that includes black accents and they are unable to find commercially prepared decorative blankets to match. Whatever the reason, you can dye your own blanket black at home.
In order to dye a blanket, first determine what material the blanket is made out of. Synthetics won’t easily dye. Examples of synthetics include polyester, spandex, nylon and acrylic. Blankets that are made of natural fibers will accept and retain color much more easily. Examples of natural fibers include wool, cotton, flax, hemp, linen and silk. While all-purpose dyes, such as Rit, can be used, many artists prefer fiber-reactive dyes, such as Procion, because they typically produce a deeper, richer black color.
Find a container that is large enough to hold the blanket and allow you to stir the blanket, water and dye. If the blanket is large and will require the use of a white bathtub that will likely stain, prepare the surface of the tub to repel the dye by rubbing flour over the surface.
Read and follow the directions on the package of dye with regard to mixing the dye with water, with one exception: When coloring fabric black, it’s important to soak the blanket in a solution that is twice the concentration that the directions on the dye instructions call for. When calculating the amount of dye required, keep in mind that the average basic bathtub will hold 50 to 70 gallons of water.
Lift the blanket out one side at a time when removing it from the tub, rather than one corner at a time, to avoid pooling of dye, which could cause uneven coloration. Next, gently squeeze out excess water and dye from the blanket. One method of wringing out the excess dye and water is through rolling up the blanket, laying it on the bottom of the tub and pressing down firmly. Once you have removed the excess water and dye, lay the blanket flat in an area where it can receive air circulation. The blanket should stay moist with the black dye for eight to 24 hours; you may need to lay a plastic tarp over the blanket to keep in moisture.
You do not need to set the dye if you used a fiber-reactive dye. If you used an all-purpose dye, such as Rit, set the color into the fabric. There are several methods available; one method is by heating the blanket in a dryer and another is by washing the blanket in the washing machine and running it through a cycle with two cups of vinegar added.
Wear gloves to protect your hands. Cover the area near the dye to avoid stains. Clean spilled dye immediately afterward to prevent stains.