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over-dye old carpet

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Over-Dye DIY

Like many bloggers out there, I loved the Color Reform rugs from ABC Carpet, but alas, I do not have $10,000 to spend on a rug. Anthropologie came out with their version of the over-dyed rug, but it paled in comparison with ABC Carpet’s version and still cost a pretty penny.

I did a little research on over dying wool and growing more confident in my rug dying abilities, I thought “how hard could it be?” I had an old, 5 x 7 wool rug lying around that had some stains…seemed the perfect test subject for this diy project. This is important to note: The rug is a medium piled rug…I tried over-dying a low-pile rug and it didn’t take very well.

1. If you are able to clean the rug first with a chemical called Synthrapol (to remove oils and dirt), it will help to give a more even dye job. My rug was too big so I just shook it out as best I could.
2. I turned up the temperature on my water heater to hot and waited for it to heat up (maybe an hour).
3. Next I took Dharma Trading Acid Dye in Deep Purple (I bought the 8oz jar) and added it to a pot of water on the stove top. The instructions tell you how much dye to use per lb of fabric being dyed. I brought the dye bath to a simmer and added a couple tablespoons of vinegar while I stirred the mixture.
4. I took my recycling trash can (good choice because it is thick) and placed the rug in it and began filling it with water with a shower extension hose (you could also fill up pots of water and bring them outside, but this would definitely be time consuming). Another option would be using the tub to dye the rug (I didn’t want to stain my tub) but it can get messy. IMPORTANT: Turn the water heater back down when you are done filling the bin. This is especially important, if you have little ones around.
5. After I had submerged the rug in water I added the dye bath to the water and using my gloved hands moved the rug around to evenly disperse the dye bath.
6. I left the rug soaking for 3 hours.
7. After I removed the rug from the bin (you may need two people because it is so heavy by this point), I laid it out over a couple of patio tables to dry for the day in the sun to allow the dye to set.
8. Next I took the hose and rinsed the rug until the water ran clear.
9. Lastly, I hung it up over my patio. It took about 2 days to completely dry. I did a test of the color-fastness of the rug by rubbing it with a white wash cloth. It may need to dry longer if any color comes off on the towel.

The rug turned a rich, purple shade that I absolutely love and it gives my living room a much-needed pop of color.

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