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How to Dye a Rug

This post will teach you how I dyed a white rug black using Jacquard Procion dye powder in Jet Black.

How to dye a rug black using procion dye

Welcome back for the third week of the $100 Room Challenge hosted by my friend Erin at Lemons, Lavender, and Laundry. This week I’m sharing a tutorial on how to dye a rug black using Procion dye. Because why buy when you can DIY? (Famous last words.)

Originally I was just going to reuse this old rug we had in Tootie’s bathroom closet. But when I realized it was 100% cotton and would therefore take the black dye I had on hand…well, I decided to try my hand at dyeing a rug. (I had the dye on hand for another project I haven’t shared yet, so that’s coming up soon!)

I love being able to reuse something and turn it into a completely new piece. Sure, it’d be easier to just buy a new rug, but then you’re just contributing more stuff to the stuff ecosystem. Also, this is the $100 Room Challenge, so you gotta cut corners where you can.

Here’s my rug before I did anything to it. There are some small stains on it that you can’t really see in this photo. Nothing terrible, but they won’t come out. I’d hoped a darker color would disguise them.

white rug


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And here’s how I did it.

Step 1: Prep

First I soaked my rug in a mixture of warm water and soda ash to ensure the dye was able to penetrate the fibers as well as possible. As a reminder, this dye only works for natural fibers.

Follow the instructions on your jar of dye powder to ensure you’re using the right amount of washing soda/water for the amount of fabric you have. I soaked mine for about an hour, though my instructions said 30 minutes would have been fine.

rug soaking in the sink

Step 2: Fill dye bath

Next I filled a dye bath. I used a plastic storage tub since I figured it’d be easy to pour out and wouldn’t stain. I was thankfully right on both accounts! First I added the hot water. Then I added the appropriate amount of dye powder for the size of my rug.

This dye powder is MESSY because it is extremely pigmented and concentrated! I used gloves and didn’t wear anything I didn’t want ruined. Thankfully my clothes were fine, but I didn’t want to risk it.

I let my rug sit overnight, agitating the bath and flipping the rug every so often to ensure I was getting every spot. This is longer than advised, but I wanted to make sure it had plenty of time to soak up the color.

jar of procion MX black dye
tub of black dye with a rug in it

Step 3: Empty & rinse

To empty the bath, I carefully dumped bowls of the black water into the toilet and flushed it. Then I picked up the entire container and dumped the rest out in the sink—including the rug. Time to wash it out!

I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed and rinsed. It looked navy. A very dark navy, but still navy. I knew dyeing a bright white to a jet black would be difficult, but I was confident this dye could handle it. So I did what any rational person would do: I did another soak of warm water and dumped the rest of the dye powder in. 🙂

I also added some dissolved salt, which I’d read in the Amazon reviews could help. Once I repeated the soaking and emptying and rinsing process, I was anxious to see if the black took. I washed the rug with three dark towels in the washing machine to ensure the load was balanced. Then I threw it in the dryer.

It worked! My rug is now black!

dyed black rug

Here’s a picture of it in the space. Sure, I could have just bought a black rug and saved myself a lot of hassle, but where’s the fun in that? Reusing and repurposing to make a totally different piece is so rewarding. Thoughts?

dyed black rug


collage that says how to dye a rug black with images of the process
Brittany Goldwyn
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  1. Why buy when you can DIY! haha Absolutely! totally perfect for this challenge!

  2. Deneen says:

    Wow. I’m impressed that the rug came out so well. I would have thought it would end up splotchy. Looks great!

  3. Sherry Cole says:

    Dying your rug is such a smart way to save money in the budget plus it looks great! I am looking forward to seeing the reveal next week.

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