Dyeing Cotton Towels

Dear Jennifer,
I have 2 light brown 100% cotton towels, each 1.5 lbs each, which turned a light orange-ish color when I washed my face on them and are pretty stained at the moment. I would like to vat dye them back to the original color. Is this possible? Would they become a solid color once more and would I have to dye them darker than they are now since they are so light?

Dear Sara,
It sounds like you are using one of those staining prescription medications. I really don’t know if you can over dye this kind of stain, but you could try it. I have dyed many towels with good results. Yes, you will need to go to a darker color, preferably in the color family that you have there. You might want to try Dharma’s reactive dye in dark brown, khaki, or brazil nut. Get a catalog from www.dharmatrading.com and read it carefully. They sell everything you need except the table salt. I suggest dye, soda ash, and Synthrapol. Do this in the washing machine for best results. Clean the washer with 409 or similar after dyeing. Wash your over-dyed towels separately for 3-4 times after dyeing. After that they can go in a similar colored load.
have fun
you may get hooked on dyeing!

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