How to Dye Rayon. Can You Do It At All?

All You Need to Know About Coloring Rayon Clothes

Written by Camilla Moln. Updated on All You Need to Know About Coloring Rayon Clothes

Rayon is a very universal material. In particular, it is known for being very perceptive of coloring. For those, who tend to refresh their garments now and then such a possibility is a real treasure!
However, rayon wearers often wonder how to dye rayon safely so that the color will last to the longest.

Well, this is what we will tell you today!

Defining The Fabric

Even though many of us think of this material as synthetic, rayon is a semi-artificial fiber. It is made of cellulose that is received from wood pulp or (more rarely) from cotton. Because harmful chemicals are often used to get the fabric, people are still concerned about whether the rayon is eco-friendly. However, some kinds of it like lyocell are safer and more sustainable than others.

What does remain unchangeable is that this material looks and feels way better than its other artificial counterparts.

Related: Does Rayon Shink?

How to Dye Rayon. Things to Consider

Changing the color of the apparel is both a way to refresh its appearance and great fun! With rayon, this process will become even easier since the material is very perceptive of colorings.

Being a semi-artificial material, rayon is produced by reprocessed cellulose derived from wood pulp. Even though the fabric is half-synthetic, it dyes and feels like a natural material.

Because of its origin, this fabric can actually be colored with the same products that are usually used for coloring cotton, for instance. Nevertheless, rayon items will have more bright and deep color, consider that before coloring your favorite apparel!
For better results, we would recommend cold water fiber reactive dyes. The color will last way longer and remain brighter than if painting garments with the direct dye or an all-purpose dye. But still, those options are also possible.

What should really not be applied on rayon is a natural dye since it simply won’t stick to the fibers unless the material is pre-treated propr to the procedure.

Another thing to keep in mind is that rayon is very weak when being wet.

That is why to avoid tearing the item, pre-launder it carefully before coloring, and it will be better if this is done manually.


Changing the Color. Detailed Instruction

So here is the rayon apparel that needs to be colored. What shall we do next?

Let’s move step by step.

  1.  Prepare the powdered dye, a bowl, 400 ml hot water, stockpot, and a spoon
  2.  Put the content of one packet to the bowl (take 1 packet for the 3 yards of the material)
  3.  Dissolve that with water you prepared. It will make the final color even on the fabric
  4.  Fill the pot with water and bring it to the simmer. Now pour the dissolved dye into it
  5.  Wet the item with hot water prior to immersing it into the stockpot to ensure that the color will be even.
  6.  Ok, now submerge the apparel into the colored substance and stir it in there for 30 min with a spoon prepared
  7.  If the light color was applied to the apparel, rinse it under cool water. If the item was colored dark, make use of warm water with a mild detergent. In both cases, keep on pouring the item until the dripping liquid is clear
  8.  Finish with drying the apparel according to its care tag

    How to Dye Rayon. Things to Consider
    Photo by Prince Abid

Dyeing Black. Yes Or No?

People often wonder whether rayon clothing can be colored black. Well, basically it is possible, however, certain nuances must be remembered.

  • If the item that’s going to be colored is rayon blend with more than 35% of other synthetic material, then use special dye meant for synthetics
  • To get a pitch-black item, double the amount of dye applied and keep the item ina dyebath from 30 to 60 min
  • Always prewash the apparel
  • To enhance the color, mix in 200 g salt 
  • Use after-dye fixatives to ensure the color will not bleed or bleed less

These simple tricks will make the final result really astonishing!

Dyeing Black. Yes Or No
Photo by The Creative Exchange

Even though rayon is very simple to color, this process needs attention since the material is very weak when exposed to heat. So read the instruction on the dye box carefully and consider whether you’re coloring the pure or blended material.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ Can you dye clothes black?

Yes, it is possible, especially if you’re coloring white/light items or refreshing the initially dark/black color. But if you’re dyeing the colored item, the process might be more complicated.

⭐ Can you dye fabric that is colored?

It can be done, however, you’ll need more dye, besides, the item might need extra coloring with the additional shade to cover the original pattern.

⭐ What is the best black dye for clothes?

“Rit” clothing dyes are known for giving the best results.

⭐ Does Rit dye bleed?

It does bleed a bit, but adding acetum and salt can reduce bleeding.

⭐ What fabrics can be dyed?

All-natural fabrics and their blends with polyester can be dyed well.

⭐ Is RIT powder or liquid better?

In terms of results, both are good. The only difference is that you’ll need less of the liquid dye.

⭐ Can Rayon be dyed with Rit?

Absolutely. The brand has both a dye for synthetics and also a dye for all-purpose coloring - both good for this material.

Written by
Camilla is an experienced Consultant with more than 20 years of preparing professional articles for numerous online resources. She has done a tremendous job and has learned a lot during her career. Camilla will advise you on the latest trends and give amazing tips on how to decorate a house.
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Types of Synthetic Fibres - Rayon | Don't MemoriseTypes of Synthetic Fibres - Rayon | Don't Memorise