How to Dye Cotton Curtains: Set Up, Tips and Tricks

In this blog post, we will discuss how to dye cotton curtains. Dyeing is a process that can be difficult and time-consuming without the right know-how. However, this guide will give you all the information you need to dye your window treatments with ease!

Dyeing involves soaking the fabric in a mixture of water and powdered fabrics or dyes for an extended period. It can be difficult to achieve desired colors on cotton without pre-treatment, but the process generally takes less than a day for most fabrics and dyes.

how to dye cotton curtains


Steps on Dying Cotton Curtains

Step #1. The first step is preparing your dye bath or pot! You’ll need to boil water, add it to the container you plan on using for soaking your fabric in and then add the dyes or powdered fabrics. The amount of water you use will vary from project to project, but it’s important not to overfill your container. This will cause too much dye and fabric mixture to be released into the air when boiling, which can create a hazardous situation for anyone nearby!

Step #2. In general, two gallons of water is enough for a good-sized batch. The next step is to add the dyes or powdered fabrics and let it all dissolve in the hot liquid while you prepare your fabric!

Step #3. You’ll need to prepare the fabric for dyeing by washing it in hot water. The hotter, the better! This will help release any oils or residue that are on your material and make them ready for soaking up all of those vibrant dyes!

After washing, you can either let it dry out a bit if you want a lighter color, or you can dunk it directly into the dye pot.

Steps #4. Saturate your fabric in the dye pot by dipping it down low and pulling it back up. This will help to get everything evenly saturated with color so that you don’t have any splotches of white cotton remaining on top when all is said and done.

If you’re having a hard time getting things even, try stirring it a bit with your hand so that the fabric is more thoroughly immersed and getting colored.

Most people will want to dip it twice, but if you’re feeling extra ambitious go ahead and dunk away! If you have any leftover dye in the pot when all of your fabrics are ready, try adding some artificial flowers or pine cones for an awesome look, or just pour it all out.

The longer you leave the fabric in the pot, the darker and more saturated with color your final product will be! If this is something that concerns you, use a spoon to periodically stir things up so that everything can continue soaking evenly for as long as possible before coming back up.

If you’re dyeing a lot of curtains, make sure to space the fabric out so that it can get an even amount of exposure and give yourself enough room for stirring.

You’ll want to be mindful about how much water you use as well! If there isn’t enough water in your pot (whether because you didn’t add enough or some of it has evaporated), you’ll end up with uneven colors.

If that happens, try adding some artificial flowers or pine cones for an awesome  look, or just pour it all out and start over!

How to wash dyed cotton curtains?

This is a great time to mention how you should wash your newly dyed curtains. You can just follow the same steps as with any other type of fabric! Before washing, check that there are no stains on the curtain or in any corners where it might get caught during washing and rinse cycles. It’s also important to use cool water for this process, so it doesn’t set the dye.


Can I iron dyed cotton?

As long as the curtains are 100% cotton, you can iron them after washing! Just follow these simple steps: preheat your iron to medium heat and place it on the damp curtain.

Use an old t-shirt or cloth between the curtain and the hot surface of the iron in case there is any dye that seeps through onto the iron.

Press the iron on the curtain for about ten seconds and then move to a new area of the fabric until you’ve covered it in broad strokes from top to bottom with steam, stopping every few minutes to check that there is no dye coming through onto your t-shirt or cloth.

Can I bleach-dyed cotton?

Yes, but only if the curtains are made from 100% cotton. Do not bleach any other types of fabric as it will damage them rather than clean. If your textile is colorfast then you can use a mild laundry detergent like Tide or Woolite to pre-treat stains and dirt before washing in warm water with oxygenated bleach.

Any leftover stains can be removed by soaking your fabric in white vinegar for about 15-20 minutes and then washing like usual.


Can I dry Clean Dyed Cotton Curtains?

No, you cannot dry clean colored cotton curtains. Dry cleaning can cause shrinkage as well as other damage to the fabric so it is not recommended for any type of textile that has been dyed.