Couch Cover Coloring

Hi Jennifer,
I am not a dyeing expert, by any means! This is actually probably the first major attempt at dyeing anything I’ve ever contemplated. I have new couch covers that I got for the huge three piece sectional in my living room. My color scheme includes shades of a deep red, like a garnet, and sage and forest greens, with beige. I chickened out on buying the covers in red, and got a natural cotton color instead, worried that the red would be too overpowering for the room since the sectional is so large, but I’m not impressed with the effect the ultra light beige has at all. So now I’m considering dyeing it the red. Of course, red is a tricky shade to match, and I have no experience here. I’m not sure what type of dye to use or what method, or with colors to even try to mix to get it right! I’m trying to avoid spending all that money on new covers, again!
Can you help me?

Dear Jaimie,
You have a truly big project here. However, IF you can get the slipcovers in your washer with enough water and space around them for the dye to circulate, and IF the fabric is all cotton and has not been treated with stain repellent or any other finish, you can possibly dye them yourself.
Go to www.dharmatrading.com. You will be using the Procion reactive dyes, plus a couple of basic chemicals (ordinary table salt, and soda ash, which is available at pool supply stores). Their website has a lot of information, and the catalog is jam-packed too. I suggest that you order a catalog and read it thoroughly.
In my experience, dark red is a tough color to get, especially on the first try. You will need to use a lot of red plus some black and possibly some blue. You may need to repeat the process at least once. Matching colors exactly is another story. I have been working on my dark red for some time and am finally pleased with the results.
If the covers are too big for a load in your washer, or you are concerned about getting the exact color match.
Have fun!

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