Spot Dyeing Fabric: Touch-Up Basics

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Often we will fully dye fabric with a single or multi-colour, ombre, tie-dye or another technique. Occasionally, you may want to only dye a small area of fabric.  If that is the case, you may not always need to lighten the fabric and could consider spot treating the area. 

Spot Treat FabricSpot treating may help you touch up a lighter area in your fabric. Of course, as with any dyeing process we suggest that you test the colour before to ensure that you are happy with the intensity.  Follow box directions as usual, but use a scrap of fabric, sponge or brush applicator as needed to apply the dye solution to the small area. Proceed carefully and build colour slowly if necessary for the best results.

Spot Dyeing Fabric


  • Tintex Fabric Dye 
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoon
  • Kettle for boiling water
  • Applicator for spot-treating (cotton swab, clean cloth, paintbrush, sponge, etc.)
  • Painters tape (optional)
  • Plastic to protect work area
  • Rubber or plastic gloves to protect hands
  • Cleaning supplies for after dyeing


  1. Prepare your flat work area with plastic and/or newspapers to protect from staining; wear rubber or plastic gloves to protect hands for dye.
  2. Dissolve 1 teaspoon Tintex dye into half a cup of heated water, use a kettle to get water to 140°F (create your own custom colour by mixing 1-3 dyes together; more dye produces darker/brighter colours, less dye creates softer, lighter colours)  
  3. Making sure dye solution is completely dissolved before you start, place clean and damp fabric on prepared area, removing any ripples. You could even apply painters tape around your spot-treating area if your fabric is suitable and you feel it will help guide you.  
  4. Use an applicator to spot treat (sponge brush, paint brush, cotton swab, or scrap piece of clean fabric etc). Apply preferred applicator into dye solution and remove excess dye; pat the area to gently build colour, rub when desired colour is achieved. 
  5. Dye can set for 20-30 minutes, but using an iron can aid setting (iron with steam, but cover with a press cloth).
  6. When fabric is set hand or machine wash and dry as usual.
  7. Clean up work area as usual with soap and water or bleach is necessary.


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