Fabric Dye Colour Guide

Just like with markers or paint, adding another colour to the original changes everything. You can make 100's of new colours just by mixing 1-3 core Tintex dyes together. Using less of a single dye makes lighter colours (ex: less red dye = pink). Using double the amount gets darker/brighter colours. Adding another dye can change a colour subtly or completely (red + blue = purple). 

Existing colour (see dye colour wheel) and fabric content may change recipe results. White or ivory cotton fabric dyes closest to box colour. Other washable fabric (nylon, silk, rayon, wool) may get intensities lighter or darker than the norm. Test all new colours on a paper towel or like fabric; adjust recipe as needed.

  • Custom Dye Colours -- Make new dyes by mixing core Tintex colours. Cut a 12" x 12" swatch (or use a light coloured paper towel) and measure Tintex with a teaspoon or tablespoon (or both) as needed. Completely dissolve 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1 or 2 tsp(s) or tbsp(s) of selected dye(s) in 1 cup of hot water (ex: dissolve 2 tsp scarlet red, 1 tsp royal blue, and 1 tsp purple for hot pink.)
  • Pastel Colours -- A small amount of dye (1/8 tsp) mixed with 1 cup of hot water makes light colours.
  • Bright or Dark Colours -- Use double usual amount of dye for fabric type/weight, use the hottest water possible for your fabric (140°F is preferred), and keep in dye bath for an extended period of time (ex: scarlet red or black).
  • Warmer or Cooler Colours -- Add brilliant yellow or tan beige for warmth; add midnight blue, charcoal grey or black for coolness.
  • Mix Marsala Pantones 2015 Colour of the year -- Use a basic mixture of 2 tsp Brown, 2 tsp scarlet red, and 1/4 tsp charcoal grey with 4 cups of hot water. *To adjust colour, add more/less of suggested amount or substitute another colour in same colour family (for example: dark brown, tan beige, beige, cardinal red or black may be used). 

Custom Dye Colours Examples:

     Pastel fabric dye colours

    Create light pastel colours, use 1/8 tsp (or less) of fabric dye and dissolve in 1 cup of hot water. Even bright dye colours can make beautiful light pastels, when used in small amounts. 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

      Mix a rich wine colour or a bright pink hue using cardinal or scarlet red fabric dye.  As a darker example, use 4 tsp cardinal red, and mix with 1 tsp charcoal or black; for pink use 1 tsp scarlet red, and 1 tsp of both purple and royal blue.  Adding more water/dye will change the final colour to be darker or lighter. *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 (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 1/4 tsp of royal blue mixed with 1/8 tsp kelly green gets a lighter blue/green; while mixing 1/4 tsp purple will make a soft lilac. *Substitute suggested dyes/amounts to get new cool blue, purple or green colours as needed.

          Orange, red and pink dye colours

          An example of different warm orange, red and coral dye hues made using scarlet or cardinal red mixed with brilliant yellow or tangerine orange.  For example  create a new red  that radiates warmth using: 2 tsp tangerine orange  mixed with 1 tsp scarlet red.  For a cheerful coral colour, use 1 tsp brilliant yellow with 1/8 tsp of scarlet red. *Substitute dyes/amounts to get new warm colours as needed.