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Would Dyeing My Slipcover Bleed Onto My Sofa?

Jennifer,
I have a slipcover that I purchased from IKEA last year to use with a Klippan sofa. The slipcover is 100% cotton and its color is a shade of green (not dark, but not light almost an avocado green). The sofa itself is white. My question is, do you think I can dye the slipcover black? If dyeing is possible what type of dye should I purchase to do this project? And one more question, by dyeing the slipcover black would it ever bleed into the white sofa if liquid spilled on it?
Thanks for your time.
Jodi

Dear Jodi,
It is possible to dye your slipcover but the results are unpredictable. To me, almost the most unpredictable element is the evenness with which the slipcover would take the dye, and here’s why. If it is very large, making a tight fit in your washer, it’s likely that it will not take evenly. Bucket dyeing is out, too, you would have a really big mess in your front yard with again, uneven results possible. Another factor contributing to the uneven results is the condition of the slipcover. Has it been used for a while in its current green state? It’s likely that it could have some unseen spots that might be greasy or otherwise repel the dye. Final matter: black is the hardest color to obtain and, in my experience, would probably come out dark green or dark greenish-charcoal.
Now if you decide you have nothing to lose and want to try anyway, I suggest that you get a copy of the Dharma Trading Company catalog and read carefully how to vat dye something using the reactive dyes. You can get the general idea at www.dharmatrading.com, however, I also suggest getting a paper copy of their catalog for complete perusal. After you read through their vat dyeing instructions, talk to them or write back to me about what dyes they suggest. You will need a minimum of chemicals, including ordinary table salt and soda ash, which is available at pool supply stores.
If you are able to easily dye the thing in your washer you will be able to adequately rinse out the excess dye by washing it a couple of times with Synthrapol (also available from Dharma).
Do a little research and let me know if you have more questions!!
Jennifer