Ever notice how everything Pottery Barn is gorgeous? Furniture, linens, accessories – I’m pretty sure they could sell luxury toilet paper with their styling and photography.
Unfortunately I, like many, don’t have a Pottery Barn budget and while I do have this bedding set:
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It was a decadent splurge that did not leave room for the extra accessories that make this room so inviting.
Like the throw quilt for instance:
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I love it, but as a decorative add-on it’s a bit hefty.
I do however, have an old quilt that used to be in Madison’s room, but has sat in the closet for a few years now.
I know, you’re thinking “Noooo! That’s a totally cute quilt!” and I agree – but it’s a totally cute un-used quilt, so it just makes sense to see if I can dye it to something that I do want instead of keeping something I don’t right?
I picked up the required number of bottles of Rit Dye – according to their website it’s 1 bottle per pound of (dry) material – so for this twin-sized quilt that amounted to 4 bottles.
The Rit website also recommends using the pre-dye colour remover, so I picked up a few packages of that as well.
Finally, Rit suggests using a colour fastener as a last step to help reduce colour bleed after your garment is completely dyed.
I chose to follow the instructions for the front-loading washing machine dye technique – which means you keep your quilt in the washer for what amounts to 4 loads of laundry.
The first step is to wash your quilt / garment with the colour remover and rinse thoroughly. (1 wash cycle)
My expectations on the dyeing process were seldom correct – for instance:
this is the quilt after it had been through a hot wash with the colour remover. I had expected that there would be considerable lightening, perhaps even bleach-like splotches, but I can’t really see any difference at all?
Okay, cycle 2; this is where you add the Rit Dye to your wash cycle via the detergent dispenser. Shake your bottles thoroughly before adding. Your wash cycle will need to last at least 30 minutes for best absorption, so you may have to reset it partway through – before the dye has drained out of the drum. There is more to this step, but I really want you to get complete instructions from the Rit website, so please click over to read more about adding hot water and adding salt or vinegar depending on your fabric and when to add in your colour fastener.
Once the cycle is complete you will need to wash your quilt with regular detergent (cycle 3) to get out any excess dye.
Finally, put your quilt in the dryer per your norm and while it is drying, clean your washing machine to rid it of any Rit dye caught in the door seal or other nooks and crannies.
I wiped down the door and all the seals with a water & bleach solution and then ran a machine maintenance cycle (cycle 4) to make sure there was no residue anywhere.
Again, not quite what I expected. I imagined there would be some gradation in the dying just by the nature of how it has to fit in the washing machine drum – so that’s not an issue.
I was pleasantly surprised though to see that all the stripes and polka dots are totally gone! I thought there might be lighter spots on the white areas and darker spots on the purple areas. This (almost) uniform colour was a fantastic bonus! *Note: this quilt has a very high cotton content, so these results will differ on different materials and threads.
The patchiness I can chalk up to it being an “indigo dye” pattern – so “trendy” & “current” and not accidental at all. lol
Besides, when I have it on my bed, you don’t notice it at all:
It’s not quite the same blue as in my duvet (I probably should have just stuck to navy blue Rit dye and skipped the container of royal) – but I think it looks pretty fantastic overall!
- The Rit colour remover came to $3.29 per package x 3 = $9.87
- The Rit dye itself was $6.99 per bottle x 4 = 27.96
- and the Rit Color Stay was $7.49 per bottle
- Grand total = $45.32 Cdn (which is roughly $32.18 US)
That’s $216 (US) less than the Pottery Barn one!
I got my decorative quilt, I purged/upcycled an unused item from the linen closet and I saved over $200 (US) (approximately $280 Cdn, plus shipping on top of that).
If you’re still on the fence about sacrificing a quilt, you could always check a local thrift store to see if there are any inexpensive ones. This thing gets washed to within an inch of its life through this process, so you can feel pretty confident that any lingering odours or mustiness will be removed.
Would I do this again? Absolutely!
For your Pinterest board – in case you want it for later.
Have a great one!
I much prefer Dharma Trading’s Procion dye over Rit. It may (or may not) be a tad more complicated to use, but the color selection is fabulous and I get no bleed.
I’ve had very mixed results with dying fabric, so if you came “almost but not quite” close to your intended color, then you did a great job! It looks like it belongs there, and how neat to have one less item stashed in the closet. Popped over from BNOTP.
Upcycling is always a good idea :) I think the patchiness is expected when dyeing cotton or large fabrics; I redye when this happens. But overall, your Royal Blue quilt looks great.
If I re-dye it, will it go too dark? I’m tempted to give it a shot – thanks for the tip!
Hi Shelly! Well yes, it will go darker but at least the patches wouldn’t be that visible. I guess, your quilt is just perfect. No need to re-dye ;)