Fabric Dye Colour Guide

Mix 1-3 dyes together to create 100's of new custom shades; our 17 core Tintex Fabric Dyes will help you create the perfect custom colour for your DIY project.

Measure amount of Tintex with a teaspoon or tablespoon (or both) as needed; completely dissolve 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1 or 2 teaspoon(s) or tablespoon(s) of your selected dye(s) in one cup of hot water. Less dye produces lighter colours; more dye makes darker or brighter colours. Always test before on a paper towel or like fabric; adjusting colour intensity is simple to do. 

  • Dissolving multiple Tintex dyes together creates 100's of custom dye colours.  
  • Small amount of dye gets pastels; double usual amount for brights or darks.
  • Add yellow or tan beige for warmth; add blue, charcoal grey or black for coolness. 
  • Primary colours make secondary (red + blue = purple; yellow + blue = green). 

Custom Dye Colours Examples:

     Pastel fabric dye colours

    To mix custom lighter colours, use 1/8 tsp of fabric dye and dissolve completely in 1 cup of hot water. Even bright dye colours can make beautiful light pastels, when used in small amounts diluted with hot water. As an example: 1/4 tsp of brilliant yellow, 1/4 tsp of tan beige and 1/8 tsp of scarlet red makes a pretty peach. *Substitute suggested dyes or amounts to get new pastel colours as needed.

      Change colour intensity by adding more or less dye

      Choose to mix a deep rich tone or a bright punchy colour.  As a darker example, use 4 teaspoons cardinal red and mix with 1 teaspoon charcoal or black (dissolved in 1 cup hot water). For a pink use a mixture of 1 tablespoon scarlet red, and a little purple or royal blue, adjust to create the colour you want.  Adding more water or dye will completely change the final colour to be as dark or light as you need. *Substitute suggested dye amounts to get new burgundy, wine and pink colours as needed.

        Mix more blue, green and purple dye colours

        Create custom cool colours by using charcoal grey, midnight blue, navy blue, royal blue, dark plum, purple, forest green and kelly green in different combinations.  When mixing a new colour using a couple of dyes, you may want to start using less of the darkest dye; you can always add more after testing. For example (when dissolved in 1 cup hot water) a 1/4 teaspoon of royal blue mixed with 1/8 teaspoon kelly green gets a lighter blue/green; while mixing a 1/4 teaspoon purple makes a soft purple. *Substitute suggested dyes/amounts to get new cool blue, purple or green colours as needed.

          Orange, red and pink dye colours

          An example of just some of the warm orange, red and coral dye colours you can create using scarlet or cardinal red mixed with brilliant yellow or tangerine orange.  For example (when dissolved in 1 cup of hot water) create a new rich  red radiating warmth using: 2 teaspoons tangerine orange  mixed with 1 teaspoon scarlet red.  For a cheerful coral red use 1 teaspoon brilliant yellow with 1/8 teaspoon of scarlet red. *Substitute dyes/amounts to get new warm colours as needed.

          Fabric Dye Colour Theory

          Existing colour will impact dyeing results if not lightened before; learn which colours go together before you start a project:

          Dye colour guide

          • Primary:  Red, Yellow & Blue create all other colours when combined in colour theory

          • Secondary:  Mix 2 primary colours to create Purple (Red & Blue)  Orange (Red & Yellow) & Green (Yellow & Blue)
          • Tertiary:  Created by mixing adjacent Primary and Secondary Hues (Red Violet, Red Orange, Yellow Orange, Yellow Green, Blue Green & Blue Violet)
          • Complementary Colour:  Colours that are opposite on the colour wheel (Orange & BlueYellow & PurpleRed & Green)
          • Split Complementary Colour:  Choose 2 colours on either side of a complementary colour (Yellow, Blue Violet & Red Violet
          • Analogous:  Side by side on the colour wheel (Red, Red Orange & Orange)
          • Monochromatic: Different shades of the same colour extended using tints & tones