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Monday, January 14, 2019

Revamping Old Bath Towels

This afternoon I am dyeing a set of towels for my daughters' bathroom. Currently, we have light pink bath and hand towels and a set of 4 new, white washcloths. I bought the washcloths on clearance last summer in a set of 8 for $4.80, or 60 cents each ($2.40 for 4 of them).  (Story on the washcloths -- I was placing an order online and needed to spend a couple more dollars to get free shipping. As we wear out washcloths faster than other types of towels, I checked for sets of washcloths on markdown.)

I asked what color of finished towels would be preferable, and peachy-pink was the answer. So, I went through my craft supplies and found partials boxes of orange and light pink fabric dye. Now, I'm off to Value Village and Goodwill to find a bath mat in white, cream, pale pink, or pale yellow. I'll let you know how these turn out.


  1. How nice of you to coordinate the color of the towels in your daughters' bathroom. You are always making your home pretty and comfortable. I will be interested in how the dying works. While I know that you can set dye so it won't bleed, but I would still be a little weary of that not happening especially with a towel that will often be wet.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      it has been my experience with dyeing all-cotton fabric that with subsequent washings the dye does fade, even with the addition of salt in the dye bath and using high heat. Even so, I figure my worst case scenario is that the set will need re-dyeing in a year. I'm not concerned with the color bleeding onto other items in the wash, as it is a pastel shade. I would definitely be more concerned with bleeding if I had dyed these a dark or bright color. We'll have to see how my thoughts pan out, though.

  2. I dyed bed sheets a couple of summers ago. I'm still leary about using them since I don't want them to leach color onto sleepwear. I followed the instructions to "set" to dye but when I was them I still see the blue color in the water. Not sure I like that.


    1. Hi Alice,
      Were the sheets 100% cotton? I understand that if the fabric is not 100% cotton or wool, than the color will not last very well. One of my daughters has a bathrobe that she wants dyed and asked if I could add it to this dye bath. But her robe is 100% polyester, and I wasn't willing to risk dyeing with Rit cotton dye. I'll be buying Rit's polyester dye for the robe. One thing I read online, for when dyeing a garment that has a mix of polyester and cotton, you can combine Rit cotton dye and their polyester dye in the same dye bath.

      How many times have you washed the sheets? Are they a very dark shade of blue? Did you set the dye with salt or vinegar? I read that salt is good for all-cotton/linen, and vinegar is good for nylon/silk. I don't have the answer to this, but I wonder if vinegar would help with setting your color? Good luck with this.


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