Thursday, July 17, 2014

Upcycled Rug

My daughter recently repainted her room and her purple area rug no longer went with the new look. Instead of tossing a perfectly good rug that had no wear I decided to try to change the color with dye. This rug was perfect for dying - cotton rug with no rubber backing. I had seen pictures at The Rit Studio of dyers using Rit Color Remover to take the color out of clothing before dying. Normally I wouldn't have bothered. Going from purple to navy blue isn't that far of a stretch color wise but I wanted to see if this Color Remover would work.

Since you always start with clean, wet fabric step one was to wash the rug. Then it was time to use Rit Color Remover. While the rug was still dry I had tried to weigh it but my digital scale was being stupid. Four boxes seemed like a good number to start with. I tried to use the Color Remover in my front loaded but something went wrong. Probably user error. My washer emptied most of the Color Remover before the cycle started.

Well that's not right.
I rinsed the rug and then washed it again to get what remover there was out. The next morning I went back to the craft store for 4 more boxes of Color Remover. I was working under a deadline. Hubby was turning off the water when he got home from work to finish a plumbing project. This time I used my trusty utility sink in the laundry room. I dumped the 4 packets in the tub with lots of hot water and stirred. Then I added the wet rug. I swished it around off and on for about 30 minutes.

That's more like it.
There was no real way for me to wring out the rug so I just tossed it in the washer and turned on a rinse cycle. Then washed the rug with soap to get the remover out. I washed out the utility sink. Then filled it up with 4 bottles of Navy Blue Rit Dye and about 3 cups of salt. Added the wet rug and swished again for about 30 minutes.

The dye bath looked a little purple-ish but I wasn't worried.
I drained the utility tub out and filled up back up with plain water and let the rug soak while Hubby did his plumbing thing. One hour later he had the water back on and I could continue. I threw the rug into the washer to rinse the dye off. Then again with soap to get all the extra dye out. Usually I hang the rug over the back fence to dry but we were having heavy thunderstorms that night. Three dryer cycles later it was finally dry.

Looks great.

Before and After

Important Note - Make sure your gloves are longer than the dye bath is deep.

Hey look! I'm a Smurf.


  1. Looks Great!! I need to do this and yours turned out great! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for posting this! I want to dye a twin size cotton blanket that is sage green to a neutral grey or pale brown. I will use the process you described, only using the washing machine, not the sink.

  3. Beautiful love it I get Wool and silk rugs for my dining table space...