Fabric Dye Colour Guide

Create the exact colour that you want by using different amounts of our 17 standard dyes. It's easy to make a new colour -- all you need to start creating a new hue, is a measuring cup & spoon.  Always test a new colour on 'like fabric' or a white paper towel before dyeing an entire garment. The amount of dye used will impact a colour's brightness. You can choose to dye over the existing fabric colour or lighten fabric before (with Colour Remover). 

Mix New Fabric Dye Colours:

Using a measuring cup and a teaspoon (or tablespoon), completely dissolve 1/8 tsp, 1/4 tsp, 1/2 tsp, 3/4 tsp or 1 tsp (or tablespoon) of selected dyes in 1 cup of hot water (use the hottest water possible for the fabric). You can easily mix 1-3 colours together to make a custom colour.

  • Basics of mixing new dye colours: less dye will produce lighter colours, more dye makes darker (or brighter) colours. Lighten the colour by adding less dye (add additional hot water to dye bath if the colour is too strong after testing).  Intensify the colour by adding more dye to the dye bath.  There are many intensities of RED, PURPLE or PINK; just look at some of the colours that you can create (use cardinal red, dark plum and purple fabric dyes) 

Change colour intensity by adding more or less dye

  • Look at just some of the BLUE, GREEN & PURPLE dye colours you can create (use midnight blue, navy blue, royal blue, dark plum, purple, forest green and kelly green).

Mix more blue, green and purple dye colours

  • Mix 1-3 dyes together: dissolving multiple dyes in different amounts creates 100's of new colours.  
  • Look at just some of the ORANGE, RED & PINK dye colours you can create (use scarlet red, cardinal red and tangerine orange).

Mix many dye colours

  • Create cool & warm tones or make brand new colours: adding yellow makes warmer tones; adding blue makes cooler tones.
  • Mixing RED + BLUE makes PURPLE; (use royal, navy or midnight blue and mix with scarlet or cardinal red).
  • Mixing YELLOW + BLUE makes GREEN (use brilliant yellow and your choice of Tintex blue fabric dyes)

Mix new dye colours

  • Mixing pastel colours: start by using 1/16 or 1/8 tsp of dye and dissolve completely in 1 cup of hot water
  • Adjust the amount of dye to your desired colour intensity.  

Mix pastel colours

  • Pink dye example:  dissolve 1/16 or 1/8 tsp of a any red fabric dye (cardinal or scarlet red) and mix with 1 cup of hot water, test the colour on a swatch of fabric or a white paper towel. Adjust the intensity (add more dye or water) to create a brighter or lighter colour.

For best results, follow the basic fabric dye instructions, always do a swatch test before, so you know what the colour will look like. Increase or decrease the amount of dye according to fabric type, weight and desired colour.

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