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dyeing velvet fabric

Can You Dye Velvet? [A How To Guide]

The look of grace and elegance is always added and enhanced even better if the furniture, a dress, or the curtains are covered with velvet.

Velvet is a soft and smooth fabric that makes sure to beautify the appearance of almost everything. Undoubtedly, velvet gives royalty to the objects it is put on.

At times, others like me too would want to customize the outlook of the velvet fabric and cloth that they want to cover their couch, furniture, or sofa with! They might want to give their velvet fabric a whole new and different color, but can that be done?

Well, to do that, an individual needs to dye the velvet according to one’s wishes. But, can you dye velvet? And if yes, what can you use to dye velvet? Can you dye velvet furniture? Can you dye velvet dress? What is a dyeing velvet couch? Let’s find out. 

Can you dye velvet?

Yes, you can dye velvet. In fact, velvet is one the easiest fabrics to dye. This is because the colors blend in perfectly into the velvet fabric and the fabric becomes shiny and beautiful. However, not every velvet fiber is simple to dye.

A velvet made of natural fibers such as cotton is the most convenient to dye. Then comes the synthetic fibers, that is, velvet made of nylon. It is a little tough to dye, whereas a velvet dye made of polyester is impossible to put a dye on because polyester is hydrophobic and it does not blend with the dyes. Further, let us learn to dye velvet for different things.

velvet dye


How to dye velvet furniture? For dyeing velvet for furniture you just need to cover the furniture with velvet fabric and then use a sponge to press colors onto the velvet fabric. Doing so, you can easily dye a velvet fabric for furniture.


A velvet dress made of cotton can be easily dyed by using natural dye or by the color dyeing process. The real trouble lies in dyeing a synthetic or polyester dress. With polyester, you should not try to dye it as it is hydrophobic and for synthetic fiber, you can use acid dye.


In the case of velvet curtains, you have to prepare a dye solution and then immerse the curtains into the solution. Keep them in the solution for a few hours and then let the curtains dye. This way, your velvet curtains will be dyed without any trouble. 


The shoes are not made of cotton fabric. They are usually made of synthetic or nylon fabric. Therefore, to dye these types of shoes, it is advised that you use an acid dye and then give a customized touch to your shoes. 


Now, for other materials that are not mentioned in the list, you first need to know the kind of fiber it is. Having done that, you can use a natural dye for cotton fiber and an acid dye for synthetic fiber or polyester fiber. 


Before making a fabric, you can dye the yarn too. Simply the yarn needs to be dipped and soaked into the dye and you have to allow the yarn to soak the colors. Likewise, you can prepare various colors of yarn. 


If you just want to dye your cushions with one color, you have to simply dip them into the dye solution. But, if you want to add two or multiple colors to the cushion, you need to dip only the part of the cushion that you want to color. 

However, if the cushion cover is not detachable, you can use a sponge to dye the cushion. Although it will take some time, it will be worth it.


Like furniture, dyeing velvet fabrics for sofa has also come into trends nowadays. Imprinting designs on velvet fabric covered on the sofas is as simple as that. You only need a sponge to press the patterns or colors on the velvet and then your work will be done.

What can you use to dye velvet?

Velvet fabric is becoming affordable and feasible for everyone to use. Also, there is not much trouble included in dyeing a velvet fabric. Now that you can effortlessly dye velvet, there are several ways known in which you can do so. You can dye velvet with the below-mentioned methods-

•Natural dye

A natural dye is well used for natural fibers such as cotton or silk. A natural dye can be prepared by using flower extracts of any color of your choice. All you need to do is add vinegar and flower petals to boiling water and let the color dissolve into water. Then, you can dye the fabric accordingly.

•Acid dye

Now, the acid dye is meant to be used for synthetic fibers such as nylon. In case you are willing to dye a polyester fabric, which is advised that you should not, then too, you can use the acid dye. The acid dye helps in blending the components of the dye onto the fabric easily.

•Procion MX dye

Procion MX dye is a high-quality acid dye. It is primarily used for polyester and synthetic dyes, but if at times, the fabric of the velvet is unknown then in such cases you can use the Procion MX dye. Procion MX dye has no ill effects even if it is used with cotton fiber.


Another component that you can use to dye velvet is bleach. Bleach gives beautiful results with natural fibers such as cotton. Velvet fabric made of cotton will get smoother and better after beach-dyeing is done on the fabric. However, bleach does not give good results with synthetic fibers and polyester.

•Disperse Dye

Disperse dye is a synthetic dye that is primarily used for dyeing polyester fiber, which is otherwise hydrophobic. Disperse dyes are anthraquinone dyes that help in the easy dyeing of polyester fibers. It is not suggested to be used with cotton fibers.

How can you dye velvet fabric?

How to dye velvet fabric? Velvet fabric dye and using it is not a painful task if it is done properly. Having said so, let us learn the complete procedure to dye a velvet fabric. It includes the following steps-

•Clean the velvet

First things first, you are required to clean the velvet fabric before it is to be dyed. Cleaning the fabric ensures that no dust or dirt remains on the fabric. Also, it gives more brightness and shines to the velvet once it gets dyed. If the velvet fabric is white, clean it very carefully.

•Place water on the burner

After the velvet gets cleaned, you have to prepare a dye solution. For that, you are required to place a container full of water on the burner. Allow it to boil for 10 to 15 minutes until it becomes burning hot. It ensures that the dye powder dissolves properly. 

•Dissolve the dye powder

Furthermore, add the dye powder to boiling water kept on the burner and ensure that the dye mixes properly in the water. Although, the rate of diffusion will be higher, stir the solution to dissolve the dye powder in the water even faster.

•Dip the velvet

Once the dye solution is ready, dip the velvet fabric into the solution. For better results, it is advised to take a velvet fabric that is made of cotton fiber as cotton holds the moisture well and it is the easiest to dye. Dip the velvet properly into the dye solution. 

•Add white vinegar

Then, add white vinegar to the container in which the velvet is dipped. White vinegar is put into the solution to ensure that all the fibers of the fabric absorb the dye properly. White vinegar helps a great way in the absorption process. 

•Remove the velvet

After a period of 3 to 5 hours, or when you feel that the velvet fabric has completely absorbed the dye, remove the velvet from the solution and then allow it to rest on a clean plastic surface. Once it is dried, your fabric is ready to use.

Does Rit Color remover work on velvet?

Color or dye is hard to remove from the velvet made of synthetic fibers. In the case of natural fibers too, it is difficult to get rid of the dye or the color applied to the fabric. However, it depends on the quality of the fabric as well.

In case, you still want to remove the color of a velvet fabric you are advised to not use any chlorine-based remover on silk or wool. It will result in damaging the velvet fiber once and for all. Not every remover works well with velvet fabric made of different fibers.

The Rit Color remover can be used on velvet fabrics made of cotton, nylon, or silk. While using the Rit Color remover on these fabrics, you need to be very careful and you have to use them in proper proportions for the right amount of time, else you will end up destroying the velvet fabric.

Can cotton velvet be dyed?

Velvet fabric can be given new dimensions, glow, smoothness, and colors if the fabric is made up of natural fibers such as cotton. Yes, you can effortlessly dye cotton velvet. Cotton velvet is the simplest type of velvet to dye because it is obtained naturally and cotton has a high water retaining capacity. Cotton is known to hold moisture. 

Therefore, every fiber of the cotton velvet gets properly and easily dyed if the procedure followed to dye the fabric is appropriate and it is done in a step-wise manner. Cotton velvet becomes smoother and shinier if it is dyed using bleach. A simple and sober velvet fabric can be converted into a beautiful and fascinating piece by adding colors via dyeing. 

Can you bleach dye velvet?

There was a time in ancient history when only the rich and the autocrats had their monopoly over velvet. But with the due passage of time, the velvet cloth has come into the reach of nearly everyone. 

Because velvets are owned by everyone, there are several alterations that you can bring into the velvet fabric. Consequently, you can also bleach-dye velvet. As long as you try to bleach a velvet fabric composed of natural fiber, the process goes smoothly if it is performed properly. 

Contrary to this, bleach-dyeing a velvet can be troublesome too if the velvet fabric is made of synthetic fibers and it is impossible to dye a velvet fabric that has polyester fibers. This is because the polyester fabric is hydrophobic and synthetic fibers become difficult to dye because of the chemicals it is composed of.

What happens when you bleach-dye velvet?

Best fabric dye for velvet? Bleach-dyeing velvet works the best with velvet fabrics made of cotton fiber. Cotton holds the moisture well and the dye being water-based gives a lasting impact on such velvets. 

When you bleach-dye a cotton-based velvet, it will enhance and improvise the color and texture of the velvet. New colors will be beautifully added to the velvet fabric. Moreover, the fabric will turn out to be soft and rustic. 

In the case of synthetic velvet or polyester velvet, bleach might not give good and expected results. It is due to the presence of the chemicals that synthetic velvet is a little tough to dye, and with polyester, it is the issue that polyester velvet is hydrophobic. 


1) Can You Tie Dye Velvet?

1) Yes, you can tie dye velvet. A velvet made of natural fiber gets dyed very easily and conveniently. When it comes to tying dyeing a velvet of synthetic fabric such as nylon, then a little problem is faced due to the synthetic nature of the fabric. However, it is next to impossible to tie dye a velvet of polyester fabric as is phobic to water.

2) Can You Dye Polyester Velvet?

2) It is almost next to impossible to dye polyester velvet. Polyester velvet is hydrophobic so it does not absorb any moisture. Now that most of the dyes are water-based, it is difficult to successfully dye even a thread of polyester velvet. Hence, you should not try to dye polyester velvet in the first place itself. The attempt is likely to be unsuccessful. 

Final Thoughts

Gone are the days when velvet could only be worn by or used by the higher class society. Now are the days when the so-called royal velvet fabric is within easy reach of everyone. Nearly one out of every five households is seen to have something or the other covered in velvet.

With the easy availability of velvet and its affordability, there have come ways to dye the velvet as per one’s choice and preferences. Many people convert the outlook and appearance of their velvet cloth in the way they want.

Simple dyeing works perfectly with velvet. The only thing that you need to ensure is that the velvet fabric is made of natural fibers such as cotton and not synthetic fibers or polyester. Thank you for reading:)

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