Coloring Your Own Sofa

sofaI know this sounds crazy but I am going to do it! I am going to dye my sleeper sofa cushion covers in my washing machine (6 that all zip off) and then I am going to take my sofa outside and spray the body of it, on fine mist, with the garden sprayer (filled with steaming hot water). Then after I spray for awhile and let it “sit and soak”, I will take my garden hose and hook to my washing machine (which is in a washroom outside) and rinse it off with hot water. But maybe I need to use cool water so it doesn’t get rid of a lot of the color. Give me any suggestions, even if you think I am completely nuts (which my friend does-she says it won’t work so now I really am determined.) I don’t want it to fade on someone when they sit down, so what do I need to do. It is a real light print fabric and I am dyeing it Scarlett. I don’t care if it looks mottled a little. It goes in my vintage travel trailer. HELP!

Dear Judy,
Hey, who am I to stand in your way. Just don’t point that sprayer my direction.
I really advise that you read my article on Fabric Dyeing 101, which has a link at the top of my column. This will give you the basic principles of color-on-fabric.
Also, keep in mind that Rit is not a very dark or vivid dye. In order to get a saturated color, you will need to use the reactive dyes, which require also salt and soda ash in order to be fixed on fabric.
I really don’t think that the rinse water temperature makes much of a difference. It’s really hard to adequately rinse such a thing as an upholstered piece of furniture. Even a cotton T-shirt will leak dye for a few washings after the dye-and-rinse process.
I hope you live somewhere very hot and dry! Else you are going to have (quickly) a mildewed, stinky sofa on your hands and in your front yard.
Many times I do respond to inquiries saying, you are undertaking a big experiment. I don’t know how it will come out and no one else does either. But if you really want to, and you don’t care about the outcome, give it a try!!
have fun, and write back and tell me about it!

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