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Video:How to Dye Curtains

with Jonathon E. Stewart

Perhaps your curtains can use a boost of color? Liven up a room with a bucket of hot water and some fabric dye - give your drab drapes a facelift with these easy dyeing tips.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Dye Curtains

Hey guys - Jonathon Stewart here for About.com. Dying is an art form in and of itself - and by that I'm referring to fabric and colors dying, not cough, sputter, I'm-takin'-a-dirt-nap dying tips for aspiring actors. For today, we're sticking to curtains, so take a look at these simple tips and you'll be on your way to sporting new window dressings lickety split. Check it out.

Supplies Needed to Dye Curtains

Before you get started you'll need a few things:
  • a large bucket
  • hot water
  • permanent fabric dye
  • rubber gloves
  • and of course, curtains
It will also help to have a utility sink as well, although a bathtub, a regular sink, or any other large source than can deliver hot water can work well, too. Make sure your bucket is large enough to accommodate your curtains -- the bigger the curtain, the bigger the bucket.

Prepare the Fabric Dye

Start by filling your bucket with as much hot water as possible, in order to let the fabric of your curtains move freely. Add your liquid dye or dissolve your powder dye in amounts according to the package instructions. Stir until the dye is evenly distributed throughout.

Avoid Dying Unwanted Items

Remember, from here on out, anything that touches your dye-bath is prone to getting dyed, including the bucket. So get on those gloves, and find a place to do all this that's not smack in the middle of your snow-white living room carpet. You should also wear what I call your dye duds.

Dye the Curtains

Next, douse your fabric in hot water until it is thoroughly soaked - this will help to distribute the dye more evenly. Add your curtain to the dye bath as loosely as possible, and stir constantly for 15-25 minutes. The longer you leave your fabric in the dye bath, the darker it will be. As a general rule of thumb - if you're using colors, leave the curtains in for a little less time than you'd think. If you're dying them black, leave them in a little longer. This will also greatly depend on the fabric of your curtains - cotton absorbs dye very easily, where synthetic material is typically much more resistant.

Wash the Curtains

Carefully remove your curtain and gently ring it out, then rinse in warm water first, then again in cold. Continue rinsing until the water runs clear. Finally, wash your curtain with a mild detergent in the washing machine on a warm water cycle, rinse on cold, and tumble dry. Be sure to clean your bucket and any surfaces that have come into contact with the dye immediately. Iron and rehang your curtains, and you'll have a whole new room.

You can also dye fabric in your washing machine if it's a top-loader, just know that any plastic or rubber parts are likely to remain tinted to match your curtains from here on out. Which wouldn't be bad if you hang your curtains in the laundry room.

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