Sunday, January 29, 2017

Can You Dye Burlap?

As a matter of fact...yes you can dye your own burlap and save yourself a little money in the process.
(I will preface this by saying it was my first time trying to dye anything....ever).
My sister is in the habit of asking me for information or whatever anytime she is working on a project of her own.  She knows that I can usually find things that she can't just because I will look and look and look until I find what I want.
My sister (Christy) called and asked if I knew where to find colored burlap ribbon that was inexpensive.  She wanted light blue, charcoal gray and a lighter gray as well as just plain white/ivory.  She needed quite a bit of it and couldn't find the colors she needed and what she found online cost way too much for the amount she wanted to use.
Brother Brad was on the job!  I found pretty much the same thing that she found...maybe a little less but not enough to make a difference.  Me with my bright ideas...decided to call her and tell her that I would just dye it for her.  That way I could get the natural/bleached burlap and make any color she wanted.  The plain burlap is much cheaper.
I spent the next couple of days researching how to dye burlap and I think I read every single blog post there was to figure out if I could do and how to go about the whole process.  I ended up using a combination of ideas and suggestions I found along the way.
I went to my local craft store (Michaels was my first stop) so I could gather my supplies.  Several rolls of burlap ribbon and dye.

Supplies I used:
ivory/white burlap ribbon (think it was 4" wide)
Rit Liquid Dye (Pearl Grey)
Tulip Fabric Dye (Light Blue)

I would have preferred both dyes to be the same brand but that is all that was available locally.

I started out doing a few test pieces just to see how much dye I needed and how long I needed to leave it in and how long to rinse...etc.

I basically just followed the directions on the back of each bottle of dye.  Almost word for word.
I filled a large bucket with warm water and added the amount of dye I thought I needed then unrolled the entire roll of burlap and dropped it into the bucket.
I let it soak for a few minutes and got my hands dirty swooshing it around to make sure all parts were getting covered.

(side note:  one blog I read said to just leave it rolled up and put the roll into the dye bath.  NO....don't do that.  Trust me.)

In total I think I left each batch in the bucket of dye for maybe 5 minutes max.  I then rinsed is cold water for a bit and found a nice place to lay the rolls out to dry.

I almost got the exact colors that I wanted but for my sister's purposes it was just fine.

I wish I had taken photos throughout the process but I wasn't even thinking that it would work so I didn't bother.

So does work and it's quite easy to do.


  1. Brad, you would be my twin if I had one. Indentical in some fashion, but definitely the older of the two. Here's why...
    I will be asked something by someone and search till the cows come home for an answer to help them out...
    I will hear a stranger in a craft store talking about a project or questioning an idea and I now who speak up and reach out to them to share what I may have tried, failures, product testimonies. After all I, like you, think us crafting people must stick together...
    I use way to many words to explain things. I can't talk without moving my hands, so I have no idea how I get any creating done when others around...
    So that leads into why you would be the older twin. I am a serious procrastinator. I get things done under pressure, even if up all night to finish a project. I am a my own worst critic and see flaws others wouldn't, but I will tear something apart until I am completely satisfied. You in return are a doer and step up to lead the way.
    You are awesome to share your tutorials, creations and success and failures.
    So keep leading the way brother and I will continue to be inspired by you and your creations.

    1. Hahahahahaha you have made my day! Thanks Marcella! You are awesome and thank you so much!



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