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Can You Tie Dye Fleece Fabric?

When colder temperatures start to roll around, out comes the fleece clothing and blankets. Many fleece clothing is only dyed a single color, and tie-dyeing can be a great way to make the clothing more interesting. But can you tie-dye fleece?

Fleece can be tie-dyed as long as you use the right type of dye. Fleece can be made from cotton or wool, but most of it is synthetic fibers such as polyester. Traditional tie-dye kits don’t work on polyester, and due to the nature and texture of the fabric, it is best to use Rit Dye that is appropriate for the type of fiber that the fabric is made of.

Although you can tie-dye fleece, it is not one of the easiest fabrics to dye. That’s why I’ve created this detailed guide to teach you the proper way to tie0dye fleece. That way, you’re tie-dye job will come out exactly or even better than you wanted it to.

Can You Tie Dye Fleece Fabric

Can You Tie-Dye Fleece?

Fleece can be tie-dyed using traditional tie-dyeing methods and techniques. However, fleece can be made from different fibers, so you have to make sure that you use the right type of dye. You should also know that the tie-dyeing method you use will also depend on what type of fleece fabric you have.

Fleece can be made from natural or synthetic fibers. Natural fibers used to make fleece are cotton and wool, while the main synthetic fiber used to make fleece is polyester. Fleece made from natural fibers will be much easier to tie-dye than synthetic fleece.

When tie-dyeing fleece made from polyester, you’ll want to use a disperse dye because these are made for synthetic fibers. You can’t tie-dye fleece using a tie-dye kit because the type of dye used is made for cotton fibers. But even tie-dye kits don’t work as well on natural fleece because due to the texture of the fabric, the dye often can’t penetrate the entire fiber. (You can still use the tools from the kit, but not the dye itself.)

Rit Dye is the best type of dye to use for tie-dyeing, both natural and synthetic fleece. Rit Dye has two different kinds of dyes that you can use. Rit All-Purpose Dye is made for dyeing natural fabrics such as cotton and wool but will work on any fabrics that contain less than 40% natural fibers. Rit DyeMore is made for dyeing 100% synthetic fibers or fibers made from more than 40% synthetic fibers. The technique you’ll have to use with both of these dyes differs as well.

How to Tie-Dye Natural Fleece

Nirovien Womens Sherpa Pullover Tie Dye Fuzzy Hoodie Double Fleece Sweatshirts Fluffy Oversized Plaid Outerwear(Pink,M)The squirt bottle method is the most traditional way to tie-dye. When it comes to tie-dyeing fleece made from cotton or wool, this is the method you’ll want to use. However, you’ll want to use Rit All-Purpose Dye as this will give you the best results.

The great thing about tie-dyeing natural fleece this way is that you can tie-dye the fleece in one or multiple colors. But if you’ve never tie-dyed with Rit Dye before, I’ll give you a list of all the materials and steps that you’ll need to know.

Materials

  • Rit All-Purpose Dye
  • Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative (optional but recommended)
  • Squirt bottle(s)
  • Rubber bands
  • Plastic tub
  • Baking rack
  • Salt
  • Measuring cup
  • Plastic gloves
  • Plastic table cloth

Steps

  1. Remove any stains and wash the fabric before dyeing. Use warm water and mild detergent, but no fabric softener. This will remove any oil and dirt to give you the most even tie-dye. Do not dry the fabric.
  2. Lay the damp fabric on a plastic tablecloth or newspaper to keep your work area from getting stained with dye. Put on the plastic gloves any time you’re handling the actual dye to protect your hands.
  3. Create your tie-dye design (the link will show you how to create different designs) and secure it with rubber bands. If you’ve never tie-dyed before, the rubber bands will create white spaces in the design.
  4. If using liquid dye, shake the dye until it is well-mixed. Then, fill a measuring cup with two cups of hot water. Add 2 tablespoons of liquid dye and 1 tablespoon of salt to the water.
  5. If using powdered dye, fill a measuring cup with two cups of hot water. Then, add ½ teaspoon of powdered dye and 1 tablespoon of salt to the water.
  6. Pour the dye and water mixture into a squirt bottle and shake it up well. If using multiple colors, repeat step 4 or 5 for each color, depending on the type of dye you have, and pour into a separate squirt bottle.
  7. Place the baking rack on top of the plastic container and lay your fleece fabric on the tray.
  8. Squirt the dye onto the fabric in the areas where you want it to go. Let the fabric sit for 30 minutes to ensure that the dye can be absorbed into the fibers.
  9. Optional step: Mix 2 tablespoons of ColorStay Dye Fixative with water in a squirt bottle. Mix it up, then squirt it all over the fabric to help keep the dye from bleeding onto other clothes. Then, wrap the fabric with plastic wrap and microwave for 2 minutes.
  10. Holding the fabric horizontally, rinse it in cool water until the water runs clear. Use scissors to cut off the rubber bands. Wash the fabric by itself in cold water using a mild detergent, then dry it.

How to Tie-Dye Synthetic Fleece

Yanekop Womens Fuzzy Fleece Sweatshirt Tie Dye Sherpa Pullover Oversized Hoodie with Pockets(Candy,2XL)Synthetic fleece will be harder to tie-dye because synthetic fibers don’t absorb the dye, as well as natural fibers do. Because of this, you can’t use the squirt bottle method. Instead, you will need to use Rit DyeMore and the stovetop method to be able to heat the water to a hotter temperature. It is difficult to tie-dye fleece using multiple colors this way, so you will likely only be able to tie-dye it a single color.

Materials

  • Rit DyeMore
  • Rubber bands
  • Stainless steel pot
  • Tongs
  • Plastic gloves
  • Plastic tablecloth

Steps

  1. Pre-treat and wash the fleece fabric to remove any stains, dirt, and oil. Use a mild detergent, and remember not to use fabric softener. You do not have to dry the fabric.
  2. Lay the fabric out on a flat surface. Create your tie-dye design (visit the link in the above section for ideas) and secure it with rubber bands.
  3. Fill a stainless steel pot with enough water to cover the fabric. Three gallons is usually plenty. Cover the pot, place the pot on the stove, and heat the water to around 180℉, just below boiling.
  4. Put on the plastic gloves. Shake the bottle of liquid dye thoroughly until it is well-mixed. Then, add half the bottle to the pot of water and stir until the dye is evenly distributed.
  5. Place the damp fleece fabric into the pot and stir it occasionally for up to 30 minutes. The color will darken the longer the fabric is in there.
  6. After 30 minutes or until the color you want is reached, put on your gloves and use tongs to remove the fabric from the water. Squeeze out the excess dye from the fabric.
  7. Rinse the fabric in warm water to start with, then make the water gradually color until it runs clear.
  8. Use scissors to cut the rubber bands off the fabric. Finally, wash the fabric by itself in warm water using a mild detergent, then dry it.

Can You Tie-Dye a Fleece Blanket?

COCOPLAY W Faux Fur Throw Blanket, Super Soft Fuzzy Lightweight Luxurious Cozy Warm Fluffy Plush Sherpa Rose Pink Rainbow Microfiber Blanket for Bed Couch Living Room (Pink Rose, Throw(50'x65'))You can technically tie-dye a fleece blanket. But, it will be much harder to do due to their size. Additionally, it is very unlikely that you will be able to tie-dye a fleece blanket made from polyester. This is because you can only use the stovetop method and you would have to have a big pot to hold the blanket if you want it to dye evenly.

If you want to tie-dye a fleece blanket made from cotton or wool, there are two methods you can use. You can use the squirt bottle method mentioned earlier or dye the blanket in the washing machine. In either case, you will still need to use Rit All-Purpose Dye.

How to Tie-Dye a Fleece Blanket

Remember that you will have the most success with tie-dyeing a fleece blanket made from natural fibers. With that being said, the following methods are only for dyeing natural fleece blankets and are not suitable for blankets made from polyester fleece.

Squirt Bottle Method

If you want to tie-dye a fleece blanket in multiple colors, it is best to use the squirt bottle method. You can do this by following the steps that were mentioned above. Just be aware when creating your design and tie-dyeing it that you will be working with fabric in a much larger size.

You will still prepare the dye in the same way, using the same measurements. But, you may need more dye overall due to the larger fabric you are working with. Additionally, you may have to skip the optional ColorStay Dye Fixative step (step 9) because the blanket won’t fit in the microwave. Other than that, the process is entirely the same.

Washing Machine Method

Tie-dyeing a cotton or wool fleece blanket in the washing machine is the easiest method. However, you will only be able to dye the blanket a single color. It’s also important to note that the dye shouldn’t stain any metal parts of your washing machine, but it may stain plastic parts. Even it does stain the plastic pats, the dye shouldn’t get on your clothes with future use.

Materials

  • Rit All-Purpose Dye
  • Washing machine
  • Salt (if dyeing cotton fleece)
  • Vinegar (if dyeing wool fleece)
  • Measuring cup
  • Small container
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Bleach
  • Rubber gloves

Front Load Washer Steps

  1. Before dyeing, weigh your blanket so that you know how much dye you need.
  • For blankets weighing 1 ½ to 3 pounds, you’ll need 1-2 bottles of liquid dye and 2-3 boxes of powdered dye.
  • For blankets weighing 4 to 6 pounds, you’ll need 2-3 bottles of liquid dye and 4-6 bottles of powdered dye.
  1. Pre-treat and wash the blanket in warm water with mild detergent and no fabric softener. Do not dry.
  2. After washing, create your tie-dye design in the blanket and secure it with rubber bands. Put the damp blanket back in the washing machine.
  3. Turn the water temperature dial to the hottest setting. If your washing machine has a timed wash setting, make sure it is set to a cycle of at least 30 minutes or longer, depending on how dark you want the color to be.
  4. Put on the rubber gloves. In a separate container, mix either the liquid or powdered dye with 4 cups of hot water.
  5. In another container, mix 1 cup of salt with 4 cups of hot water if dyeing cotton fleece. Mix 1 cup of vinegar with 2-4 cups of hot water if dyeing wool fleece. Then, add 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap to either the salt or vinegar water, whichever is applicable.
  6. Remove the detergent cup from the dispenser tray. Pour the dye into the cup, then pour the salt or vinegar solution into the cup. Start the cycle and let it completely finish.
  7. After washing, remove the detergent cup again and rinse it thoroughly with warm water until all the dye has been removed.
  8. Remove the blanket from the washing machine and use scissors to cut off the rubber bands. Put the blanket back in the washing machine and wash it again with warm water and mild detergent. Dry it in the dryer.
  9. Clean the washing machine by wiping off any dye you see with an old towel. Then, place bleach into the dispenser. Select the largest load size and the warmest water temperature, add a few old towels and some detergent, and let the cycle run through.

Top Load Washer Steps

  1. Before dyeing, weigh your blanket so that you know how much dye you need.
  • For blankets weighing 1 ½ to 3 pounds, you’ll need 1-2 bottles of liquid dye and 2-3 boxes of powdered dye.
  • For blankets weighing 4 to 6 pounds, you’ll need 2-3 bottles of liquid dye and 4-6 bottles of powdered dye.
  1. Pre-treat and wash the blanket in warm water with mild detergent and no fabric softener. Do not dry.
  2. After washing, create your tie-dye design in the blanket and secure it with rubber bands.
  3. Turn the water temperature dial to the hottest setting. Then fill the washing machine with enough water to cover the blanket and allow it to move freely.
  4. If using liquid dye, shake the bottle(s) thoroughly to mix them up, then pour them directly into the water. Wear gloves while doing so. Stir the water to mix the dye evenly.
  5. If using powdered dye, dissolve it in 2 cups of hot water before adding it to the machine. Wear rubber gloves while doing so. Once the dye has been dissolved, add it to the washing machine and stir the water to mix the dye evenly.
  6. Put the damp blanket back into the washing machine. Add ½ cup of salt to the water if dyeing cotton fleece; add 1 cup of vinegar to the water if dyeing wool fleece. Then, add 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap to the water.
  7. The blanket needs to remain in the wash cycle for 30 minutes to an hour before the rinse cycle begins to ensure that the fibers absorb the dye. That means you may have to restart the wash cycle a few times, depending on how long the wash cycle is.
  8. Once the blanket has been in the wash cycle for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how dark you want the color to be, let the washing machine continue through the rinse cycle.
  9. After the cycle has finished, use scissors to cut the rubber bands off. Wash the blanket a second time using the warm water setting and mild detergent. Dry the blanket in the dryer.
  10. Clean the washing machine by wiping off any dye you see with an old towel. Then, place bleach into the dispenser. Select the largest load size and the warmest water temperature, add a few old towels and some detergent, and let the cycle run through.

Can You Tie-Dye Fleece with Bleach?

Dokotoo Womens Fashion Winter Tie Dye Hoodie Cozy Warm Fuzzy Casual Loose Oversized Sweater Sweatshirt Hooded Fleece Pullover Sweater Tops with Pockets Black MediumAnother technique you can use to tie-dye a fleece blanket is reverse tie-dye. This technique works on fabrics that have already been dyed. Usually, with reverse tie-dye, you remove color using bleach. However, you should not try to reverse tie-dye fleece using bleach. Since fleece is a soft fabric with a unique texture, bleach is too harsh to use on the fabric.

You can use Rit Color Remover instead of bleach to reverse tie-dye fleece. Rit Color Remover is a non-chlorine bleach that is safer to use on fleece and other fabrics. However, Rit Color Remover works best on natural fibers such as cotton fleece. It may not be as effective for polyester fleece. Below are the materials and steps for how to do this.

Materials

  • Rit Color Remover
  • Stainless steel pot
  • Tongs
  • Rubber bands
  • Plastic gloves

Steps

  1. Wash the fleece fabric in warm water with mild detergent. Do not dry the fabric.
  2. Create your tie-dye design in the fabric and secure it with rubber bands.
  3. Fill a stainless steel pot with enough water to cover the fabric and allow it to move freely.
  4. Heat the pot on the stove, covered, until the temperature is just below boiling (around 200℉).
  5. Once the water has started to simmer, add one Rit Color Remover packet and stir it into the water to evenly distribute it.
  6. Add the fleece fabric to the water and keep the water simmering. Stir the fabric in the water occasionally. The color will start to come out of the fabric after about 10 minutes, but you may have to leave it in the water for longer than that.
  7. Remove the fabric from the water when most or all of the color has been removed. Then, wash the fabric in warm water with a mild detergent.
  8. After washing the fabric, you can dry it if you don’t want to add new tie-dye colors. If you do want to tie-dye it, leave the fabric damp.
  9. You can tie-dye the fabric to add color to the white areas by using the spray bottle or stovetop method above, depending on the type of fibers the fabric is made from.
  10. If you do want to tie-dye it, just follow the steps above for whichever method is applicable.

Conclusion

Tie-dyeing can be a great way to bring new life to fleece fabric. You can tie-dye fleece using traditional tie-dyeing methods, but you will have to use the right type of dye for the type of fleece you have. Rit Dye works best or fleece fabric because it provides the best color and the most even dye. If you enjoyed this article, share it with others and leave a comment. Thanks for reading!