Cold Water Machine Wash

There are 4 main steps to take when dyeing fabrics at home:





  • Make the dye solution

  • Make up the salt solution

~3 minutes

~5 minutes

(+ more time if you need to wash the fabric)

~10 minutes

~120 minutes

(+ another warm water cycle)


  • Get prepared

    • Although all our dyes are non-toxic, care should always be taken when handling any chemicals

    • Avoid prolonged inhalation of dye powder, as this can cause an allergic reaction in some people

    • If you are concerned about the appearance of your hands, wear latex gloves for protection against temporary skin staining

    • Read and stick to the instructions

    • Make sure you have all of the required equipment before you start, and enough time to complete the process

    • Please make sure that your washing machine:

      • ROTATES AUTOMATICALLY during heating to ensure even dyeing

        • If it does not rotate automatically, interrupt the cycle periodically and turn the switch to rotate

        • After a few rotations, resume the heating stage


  • Prepare the fabric

    • Identify the fabric type before dyeing

      • Natural fabrics dye best (cotton is the best); other fabrics give mixed results

      • Poly-cotton mixtures give reduced shades and can result in blotchy results

      • Synthetic and acrylic fabrics cannot be successfully dyed in the home (these require very high temperature and pressure conditions not attainable in the home)

      • Silk can be dyed under specific conditions (you will have to use an acidic agent, like vinegar)

      • Wool can be dyed, but we do not recommend it, as the high temperatures often cause shrinkage and shape loss of the garment

    • Weigh the fabric before dyeing it

      • The weight of the fabric determines how much dye you should use

      • Each pack of Lady Dye fabric dye is designed to dye 250g of dry fabric to the shade indicated on the pack

      • Varying the amount of dye to fabric ratio will make for lighter or darker shades (i.e. 1 pack of Lady Dye fabric dye to less than 250g of dry fabric will result in darker shades, whereas 1 pack of Lady Dye fabric dye to more than 250g of dry fabric will result in lighter shades)

      • If your garment weighs less than 250g, use a proportional amount of dye and water (e.g. if your garments weighs 125g, use half the pack of dye and half the amount of water. See Weighing Table for more detail)

    • Get the fabric ready for dyeing

      • Wash all fabric before dyeing (any impurities will affect the dyeing process); this is true for both brand new and old fabrics

      • The closer to white the fabric, the better (Lady Dye Colour Remover or a bleach and water solution are recommended)



  • Prepare the solutions

    • Make up the dye solution

      • Boil 1 litre of water for every sachet of Lady Dye fabric dye

      • Dissolve the dye powder in the water you have just boiled (making a paste with some of the water first helps)

      • Strain the solution through a cloth into another container large enough to contain your fabric AND the dye bath solution (a large pot is best). Please note that the cloth that you strain the solution through will be discoloured by the process, so a clean, old cloth is best)

      • This solution is now what we call the Dye Solution

    • Make up the salt solution

      • Boil another 1 litre of water for every sachet of Lady Dye fabric dye used

      • Dissolve 4 tablespoons (60ml) of salt for every sachet of Lady Dye fabric dye used; make sure the salt dissolves completely


  • Dye the fabric

    • Dye the garment

      • Strain the dye solution through a cloth into a jug

      • Pour this directly into the washing machine drum

      • Pour the salt solution directly into washing machine drum as well 

      • Run through the cycle for 15 to 20 minutes. DO NOT INCLUDE A PREWASH

    • Fix the colour

      • Interrupt the cycle (i.e. turn off the machine but leave the wash cycle dial in its current position)

      • Dissolve the sachet of fixative in 1 litre of boiling water

      • Add this fixative solution through the detergent chamber of the washing machine 

      • Re-start the machine and run for another 50 minutes

        • Fabric needs to be in the dye solution​ for at least 50 minutes. You may need to run another cycle if the current cycle is too short

      • At the end of the cycle, reset the machine to do a normal warm water wash with washing powder


© 2020 by Marketing and Mercantile Services

Call: 021-447-6307 


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