Monday, 20 May 2013

Magpie Monday - Dyeing for a new lease of life

Today's Magpie Monday comes from a plea for help from a friend.

She had a whole load of lovely Egyptian cotton towels which were too good to throw away, but were beginning to look worse for wear.  They were actually a wedding present so have done remarkably well for 9 years of use, and were in considerably better nick than most of my towels.  They were still soft, fluffy and absorbent, but were no longer sparkly white.  So instead of getting rid of them and buying new ones, she asked for my help dyeing them.


DYLON machine dyes come in a huge palette of colours, and she chose China Blue which is fresh, clean and bright, and will also match her bathroom decor.

If you've never tried machine dyeing, then I'd urge you to have a go.  It's easy and quick and as long as you follow the simple instructions, you can't really go wrong.

First we weighed the towels dry to work out how much dye we'd need.  There were 2 huge bath sheets, 1 bath towel and a 2 hand towels, so we split it into 2 loads and used 2 packs of dye in each machine load.  The towels were then washed as you have to add them to the drum wet.

Into the machine drum we added 1 kilo of salt and the contents of 2 packets of DYLON machine dye.  Then the wet towels are added and we ran a 40 degree wash.  Once the cycle is complete, wash again on 40 degrees.  And that's it.  It really is that simple.


Using DYLON dye won't damage your machine.  Once you have finished, run another wash at 40 with detergent to make sure any residual dye is gone and then your machine can safely be used again as normal.

So if you have any cotton towels; bed linen or table cloths that are looking a bit jaded, but are still in good condition, don't chuck them out but try giving them a new lease of life with a DYLON colour.

NB: always read the instructions before use.

Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with DYLON - please see my Disclosure Page for full details.

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29 comments:

  1. Wow, I'm really impressed! I have a pile of old white towels too that have seen better days, maybe this is what I need to do to give them a second life?!

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    1. Thanks Jen. Dyeing stuff is a bit of an obsession, I adore watching things transform before my eyes! You should give it a go x

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  2. I have only ever tried to dye something once and it was a disaster so definitely going to give this a go!

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    1. Oh no! Why was that? You do have to check what the fabric content is - natural fibres such as cotton and linen work really well, poly-cottons do dye by to a lesser shade. Polyester; acrylic and nylon won't colour at all.

      Give it another try. x

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  3. Yeah, I have loads of 'once white-now grey' towels too. I feel a little dying project coming on!

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    1. It's a really great way to inject some life back into them and to co-ordinate them to your rooms.

      Hope you give it a go x

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  4. ooooh I want to dye some stuff now :-)

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  5. Wow I'm really impressed with the results. I may well end up dyeing our old white towels to brighten up the bathroom in our new house.

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    1. Oh yes, a really great way to add some zing to a room. x

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  6. It's lovely to be able to prolong the life of items that would otherwise be ditched. I'm always machine dyeing my black clothes back to life when they start to fade, love Dylon, it's so easy.

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    1. Oh yes, their black wash and dye product is great isn't it? Wish it had been around back in my goth days LOL

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  7. That is an amazing colour!!!
    I shall have to do some dyeing at some point got a load of towels and bedding that could do with a new lease of life...

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    1. It's a really pretty colour isn't it. Mind you, there are lots to choose from I'm not sure which is my favourite.

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  8. I've meant to try this - I have some towels that were once peach (back when that was fashionable so that gives you an idea of how old they are!) that have become a murky grey. Yours turned out really well :)

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    1. Mmm peach towels. Please tell me they were to match your peach bathroom suite? Or was it avocado? :)

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  9. What a great idea! I didn't even know such a thing existed. The color came out great :)

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  10. Oooh I'm going to do my towels as well - I've just pinked my bathroom and my towels are a boring beige!

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    1. Ooh good idea! Remember the colour mixing rules though - if you're not starting with pure white it will affect the final shade. But I think beige and pink would give a nice darker shade of pink.

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  11. Hi Liz,
    Thanks for walking us thru the process. Yes, my towels could use a spruce up, but I've actually been thinking about dying a designer dress I thrifted. It's in great condition but the black has faded, and definately needs a pick me up. Think it's been hung to dry in the harsh NZ sun. Have been nervous about doing it, as finding a Tanya Carlson dress (nz designer) in my size in good condition is a rare thing and really don't want to muck it up. Your words of advice make it a doable project. Cheers :)

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    1. Oooh I don't know if you can get DYLON in NZ, but their black wash and dye product sounds like it would be perfect for this. Is it cotton?

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  12. I haven't dyed anything for a long time - but was thinking of changing some cream blankets to red ones soon :) x

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    1. Do check what type of fabric it is first, DYLON is not suitable for wool x

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  13. Such a pretty shade of blue - lovely to give things a new lease of life, isn't it?

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    1. Thanks Caroline, yes it's so pretty.

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  14. I've had this book marked for days and finally getting dye ordered for my cloth baby wipes which only look clean and new for so long but will be perfect dyed a new colour - thanks xxx

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