How to Dye Fabric to give it a Whole New Life

This weekend I dyed a bunch of cotton shirts and washcloths that were looking kind of grungy and it gave them a whole new look!

My Austrian is a pipe organ builder and therefore he works with wood, stone, metal, and a whole bunch of chemicals, plus he loves to work on his vintage cars.  All of that is hard on t-shirts and these were starting to look pretty stained up.  However, the cloth was still in good shape and so it was time to give them a new look.  Now with the new color the old stains just vanish into the natural texture of the hand dyed cloth.  They’re good to go for another few years now! WIN!  My favorite kind of recycling is to eliminate the need to replace an item by extending it’s life!


My handsome Austrian in his (old) shirt that has a whole new look.

I love using handkerchiefs instead of tissues, napkins, and paper towels!  It’s a great way to save money and it’s good for the environment!  Zero Waste for the WIN!  I love skipping the paper products in the grocery store!  I don’t need to find space to store any of those bulky things in my tiny house – WIN!  Not a single roll of paper towels at my house – not one!  No tissue boxes either!  I use washcloths for all the usual things, plus… I use them in place of paper towels for the gross tasks and they work beautifully!  I have plenty of them and I use them only once, then hang them to dry.  When they are dry they go in the laundry hamper and they wash up beautifully.  I know it sounds like it would create an extra load of laundry – but it doesn’t.  It’s all part of the routine around here.  I’ve been making my own laundry soap for a few years now also.  I’ve had these handkerchiefs and wash cloths in the works for about eight years now.  I can’t even imagine how much money it has saved us to use them instead of paper products!  Plus… a well worn cotton handkerchief is incredibly soft and lovely.

This is a fast forward introduction to this topic and if there seems to be interest in this, then I’ll make very detailed instructions to walk you through it step by step.  It’s not difficult at all, and I think it’s loads of fun!

TIP: All of these chemicals are considered dangerous so it’s important to wear gloves and handle soda ash and the dyes with great care!  I’ve got a weird skin condition so I pay much more attention to this than I used to.

Let me know what what you think.  Would you try this?

Signature Tiny House Foodie logo

Leave a Reply