Dyed Curtains: Questions Answered

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thanks so much to everyone who commented on the dyed curtains!  I received lots of questions about them and thought it would be best to respond in the form of a post for reference.  If you are completely ready to move on to another topic - can't say that I blame you.  Please stop by another time ;)

I really just followed the instructions on the box.  If you have more questions, you can check out the rit dye website.  I considered combining colors, but decided to keep it simple this time around.  The site also covers topics like how to chose your fabric, ombre dyeing (which would be fun to try), and washing machine dyeing.

Here is what I did...

1)  I pre-washed the curtains to remove any finish that might be on the fabric that may prevent an even dye. 

2)  It is important to use the right amount of dye and this is based on the weight of your fabric.  Two pairs of curtains requires two boxes of dye dissolved in 2 cups (per package) of hot water.

3)  Next I added dye along with 1 cup of salt and one tablespoon of detergent to my top loading washing machine and filled with hot water.  Agitate to mix. 

4)  Uncrumple and add damp curtains to dyebath.  Set machine for extended wash cycle before rinse begins.  Oops, I didn't make it to the machine in time and missed this step.  They turned out ok though.
Fabric should be in the dyebath at least 30 minutes.

5)  Dry curtains. 

Worth mentioning:

Ritva curtains come with hem tape which had already been applied to my curtains.  The tape lasted through the pre-wash stage, but fell apart during the dye process (perhaps because of the salt?).  My advice is to wait until after dyeing to apply any hem tape.

 I hope this helps.  If any of you dye your curtains I would love to see them!


  1. i love this idea. i read the post you wrote the other day and was in love with them! i may have to try this some day!

  2. Takes me back to fourth grade and tie-dye t-shirt dresses!! I dyed my sons' antique chenille bedspreads last year-- unfortunately the grey I was going for came out a little more "lilac"-- lucky they are little and don't notice!

  3. They look great! I love Rit dye, I used to use it all the time on my kids jeans... way back in the day!
    I did not realize that you have a Weimaraner too! I have a 2 1/2 year old Weim named Tessa... she's a hoot!

  4. Once again - love the way they turned out! When I used dye recently I was so stressed out about it staining the washing machine but it is amazing how well it works, isn't it? I had no problems at all!

  5. I've been using rit dye recently to dye raffia for embroidery on linen.........the results have been excellent.........blogpost on that soon.

  6. This is totally awesome. I have the tan Ritva curtains, and now I'm wishing I'd bought the white so I could do the same! Fab idea =)

  7. love how they look...thanks for sharing!

  8. Thanks for sharing more information Rene. I really want to give my Ritva drapes a makeover too!

  9. Thanks for the info! They came out so evenly, I'm always afraid I'll get splotches.

    One more kind of dumb question... did you use liquid or powder detergent?

  10. I used powder. Forgot to mention that.

  11. I dyed a huge dropcloth a couple of weeks ago. I'm using it to re-upholster a pair of chairs. It's still a work in progress. The main reason I did it was because I didn't want to mess up expensive fabric.

    I love your curtains. The color is very pretty. Have you tried idye? It's what I used on the dropcloth.


Thanks so much for stopping by! Your questions will be answered here or you can email me at rene.cottageandvine@gmail.com

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