September 5, 2018

I’ve had a hard time finding the exact color of non stretch denim that I wanted for some Lander pants, so I decided to give fabric dying a go. I went with RIT because it was easy to find and inexpensive. Honestly I had no idea or confidence in how this was going to go, so I didn’t want to invest too much. For fabric, I went with my tried and true bull denim in natural. White would work as well, but since I knew that I wanted a darker color in the end, I figured the natural was more likely to get me there.

I did two separate dye batches. I scoured the RIT website which has a great section on color formulas and went with potter’s clay as my first batch.

I bought the three colors it asked for – tangerine, apple green, and scarlet and got to work.

Essentially I just followed the directions on the bottle and on the website. I added salt which was recommended and used this paper towel to test the color before adding my fabric. One thing that made a more successful product this time (compared to past attempts) was getting a large enough bucket so there was a lot of movement, and also stirring a lot for the first 10 minutes.

I let it soak for a few hours with occasional stirring because I knew that I wanted a deep color.

The end result is this beautiful deep rust color that I love so much. I would say that it is a little more red than the intended hue, but it is still such a gorgeous color that I can’t be upset.

Next up, I wanted a true camel brown. It’s my favorite color to wear with a simple black turtleneck in the fall so I knew I needed to make it. I looked again at the RIT color formulas and landed on caramel.

I bought the golden yellow and cocoa brown dyes and used the same natural colored bull denim.

I used the same process as before and ended up with a perfect medium camel color.

All in all a big success. The only change I might make next time is to add a small amount of black to my dye to get a darker hue.

I can’t wait to make up a couple of Lander pants with these for the fall and winter which is fast approaching.

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  • Reply Pam September 5, 2018 at 2:47 PM

    These are so perfect! I tried to get a rust red and ended up with a pinkish mess so that is now destined to become graphite. Will keep these 2 colors in mind, I love playing with Rit!

    • Reply Kelli Ward September 7, 2018 at 12:18 PM

      thank you! this was my first dying success to date.

  • Reply Amanda September 5, 2018 at 3:23 PM

    Wow, these turned out so great. I’m impressed. I’ve avoided dyeing for the mess and clean-up. But, this has me rethinking that. I could go for a good rust.

    • Reply Kelli Ward September 7, 2018 at 12:19 PM

      I hear you. I found the big plastic tub to be key for ease this time.

  • Reply Anne September 5, 2018 at 5:43 PM

    These are beautiful colors! When you turn them into finished garments, are they colorfast? My biggest fear in dying fabrics myself is that the color might rub off on furniture or bleed on other clothes in the wash. Is this something you don’t have to worry about if you follow the directions on modern dyes?

    • Reply Kelli Ward September 7, 2018 at 12:20 PM

      Honestly no idea. I have already run them both through one wash and hot drying so I am hoping they are good to go. I do think I will be more careful about what I wash them with though.

      • Reply J September 25, 2018 at 5:04 PM

        RIT makes a color fixative, too! I used it when I over-dyed a bunch of black clothes back to dark, saturated black and, so far, have experienced no dye transfer

  • Reply Chloe September 5, 2018 at 6:38 PM

    I had no idea RIT had colour recipes available, that is so good to know! Your colours turned out really well, they will make excellent fall Landers.

    • Reply Kelli Ward September 7, 2018 at 12:20 PM

      thank you! this was new to me too and I am pretty impressed with their color library.

  • Reply Jenn September 6, 2018 at 5:18 PM

    Those are great results! Look into ProcionMX fiber reactive dyes too. Probably have to order but so easy to work with and the colors are deep and colorfast

    • Reply Kelli Ward September 7, 2018 at 12:21 PM

      thank you! I definitely am new to this and could use any recommendations you have.

  • Reply Loree September 7, 2018 at 7:06 AM

    Dying is addictive! You should definitely look into the fiber reactive dyes. They are colorfast and can be mixed as well!

  • Reply Fabric Tragic September 8, 2018 at 5:07 AM

    Clever! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply robina September 25, 2018 at 3:40 AM

    Greatly composed article, if just all bloggers offered the same substance as you, the web would be a much better place.

  • Reply Kiley October 11, 2018 at 6:18 PM

    I have used both Rit and Prociin dyes. Procion wins in my book for evenness of color and colorfastness. And the range of colors is amazing – no mixing required.

  • Reply devin November 3, 2018 at 5:18 AM

    just i read your article add on thnks

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