Dying Pants to Cover a Stain

Last fall, I decided I was never going to do leather dying with my cats in the room again.  I was dying a tooled leather project that I had already put more than 50 hours of work into, and one of my cats jumped onto the table, knocking over my bottle of leather dye.  Thankfully, the dye spilled onto me, and not onto the leather project (whew!).  The result, though, you can see above – a splotchy dark stain, right in the lap of one of my favorite pairs of pants.

Unlike this leather project, my pants can be re-dyed to hide the stain.  And this is just what I did!  You can see how the stain mostly disappears in the before-and after photo below.

A side note: does anyone know how to make pretty “before” and “after” blurbs on photos?  I see these on other blogs and they are beautiful, and whenever I try to make them (admittedly, in Paint), they turn out looking really plain.  I need to learn better photo editing.  Any tips?

Anyway, dying with Rit liquid dye is really easy, though extremely boring.  I hate dying clothes.  Have I mentioned this?  I’ve done it twice, and both times I have loved the results but hated the process.

Why do I hate the process?  Because it involves at least a half hour, if not an hour, of just sitting and stirring.  And stirring.  And stirring.  And stirring some more.  Even with having a TV show up to pass the time, it’s so boring.  And then after you’re done with that, it’s rinsing time!  Rinse it in warm water.  Then slightly cooler water.  Then again.  And again.  And again, again, again, again, again… “Just rinse until the water runs clear.”  Grr.  The water never seems to run clear.  Gah, sooooooooooo boring.

Bucket of dye in my bathtub.

That said, this process is so useful for saving stained garments that I’m sure I’ll use it again.  I can wear my favorite pants again!  I made these in high school (one of the first items of clothing I ever made, as part of clothing for going to the Renaissance Festival), and they are incredibly comfortable.

Cat photo bomb!

They turned out beautifully!  I’m holding them up to the sunlight here, and you can kind of see the stain if you look closely.  It’s really hard to see now, and the pants are a beautiful rich brown color – even better than before.  I love brown!  As much as I didn’t like doing this, I sure do love the results.  ~Kell

Author: Wynter

I'm a scientist from Ann Arbor, MI! Leatherworker. Sewist. Exuberant gardener. Board game addict. SCAdian. Huge nerd. :)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Dyeing in a top loader washing machine is much less boring. You have to be able to reset the cycle to agitate to do all that mixing is the only thing.

  • Huh. And the dye doesn't get into the next load of clothes or anything?

    Some day, if I have a home with a washer, I will see if I can get one of those. Then again, I don't dye things very often – this is only the second time in a few years. Maybe it would be nice to have the flexibility, though? Worth thinking about!