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.
(Affiliate links below; read more about those here)
- Jacquard Procion Dye Power in Jet Black
- Large plastic tub or wash basin
- Hot and cold water
- Washing soda, also called soda ash (not the same thing as baking soda)
- Disposable gloves
- Table salt
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.
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.
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!
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?