5 Best Fabric Dyes for Cotton

Cotton is an excellent choice when it comes to fabric dye. Cotton is extremely absorbent and a natural fiber, which makes it very easy to dye. Many different brands and types of dyes will work well with cotton and many different dying techniques will also be effective. Cotton is also a popular fabric when it comes to dying, because it can be purchased so readily, in many different weaves, and is usually budget-friendly https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7M61pYYlOk.
Fabric DyeFeatures
Jacquard Procion MX– Cold water reactive dye
– Vivid colors on cellulose fibers
– Suitable for various dying techniques
RIT Dye– Vibrant colors
– Can be used on multiple fabric types
– Offers different color recipes
Tulip Permanent Fabric Dye– Hot water dye
– Provides solid coverage and fade resistance
– Specially formulated for natural fabrics
SEI Tumble Dye Craft and Fabric Spray– Pre-mixed and ready to use spray
– Water-based and non-toxic
– Permanent colors
Dylon Fabric Dye– Versatile dye for brightening or regular dying
– Suitable for natural fabrics
– Requires salt


Best Fabric Dye for Cotton

Here are our fabric dye for cotton reviews

1. Jacquard Procion MX

Jacquard Products Procion MX Dye, 2/3-Ounce, Bright Blue

Procion MX dyes are fixed chemically instead of with heat, which makes them a unique dye. They can be used in many different dying techniques. These dyes are typically used with soda ash fixative. This dye works well with cellulose fibers, making it a very popular choice for dying cotton.

  • Cold water reactive dye
  • Comes out very vivid on cellulose fibers
  • Great for immersion dying, tie dying, batik, as well as many other dying methods

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2. RIT Dye

Rit Dye, Scarlet Liquid Fabric Dye, 8-Ounce, 1-Pack, 8 Fl oz

When it comes to fabric dye, RIT is a popular and trusted name. RIT dyes come in powder and liquid form. Generally, the liquid form is more concentrated and is equivalent to two of the powders. RIT dyes tend to come out vibrant and are perfect for use on cotton.

  • RIT dyes can also be used on many other types of fabric including linen, silk, wool, rayon, or nylon, but can also be used on cork, wicker, paper, or even wood
  • Can be used with many different dying techniques like tie dye, ombre, dip dye, shibori, or others
  • RIT Dyes come in many different colors and RIT’s website has different color recipes available for mixing colors

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3. Tulip Permanent Fabric Dye

Tulip Permanent Fabric Dye- Purple

Tulip Permanent Fabric Dyes are a hot water dye. The hotter the water, the deeper shade of color is going to be produced. The dye is not recommended for fabrics like acrylic, nylon, or polyester, but it does work well with cotton fabrics. Comes in different colors- there are ten available for purchase on Amazon.com.

  • Provides solid coverage
  • Dye is permanent and fade resistant
  • The dye was specially formulated to work with natural fabrics

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4. SEI Tumble Dye Craft and Fabric Spray

SEI Tumble Dye Craft and Fabric Spray 2oz 8/Pkg-Neon Assorted Colors

This dye is quite unique when it comes to fabric dyes. The spray already comes pre-mixed and ready to use, so there is no extra preparation or mixing required. The dyes are water based and non-toxic, which makes them easy to clean up and safe for crafters of all ages. The dyes come with an instruction book on how to use them. They are great for cotton and can be used on a range of different fabrics and for different projects.

  • Colors are permanent and remain bright and vibrant even with washing
  • This kit contains eight different colors which work great for tie dying- can dye up to 20 shirts
  • Has to be heat set- items can be ironed or put in the dyer for 30 minutes

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5. Dylon Fabric Dye

Dylon Fabric Dye

Dylon Fabric Dye is a versatile dye that can be used to brighten faded items or for regular dying. Dylon dye is perfect for tie dying. One package of dye is often enough to dye a single garment like a t-shirt. Can be used on other colors of fabric besides white.

  • Dye works best with natural fabrics like cotton, but can actually also be used on nylon or even Lycra
  • The dye has to be used with salt
  • The dye is permanent

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While dyes can be great for revitalizing or transforming fabrics, they do come with a few potential negatives:

  • Color Accuracy: Sometimes, the final color may not match exactly with what was intended or displayed on the packaging.
  • Fading: Over time and with repeated washing, dyed fabrics can fade. This is especially true if proper care instructions aren’t followed.
  • Uneven Dyeing: Depending on the dyeing technique used, there’s a risk of uneven color distribution, leading to patchy appearances.
  • Damage to Fabric: Some strong dyes might weaken or damage the fabric over time.
  • Allergies and Skin Irritation: Certain dyes contain chemicals that can cause allergies or skin irritation to sensitive individuals.
  • Environmental Impact: Chemical-based dyes often have negative environmental impacts ranging from pollution during manufacturing to contamination of water sources when rinsed out.

Remember that these potential negatives don’t always occur but are worth considering when deciding on whether to dye a fabric.

Fabric Dye for Cotton Buying Guide

Different fabric dyes can be used for different purposes, methods, and dying techniques. Each brand and type of dye will have their own methods for use and some require additives or fixers like salts or soda ash, to set. Generally, fabric dyes are quite versatile. They can be used to revive tired or faded items or can be used to create something new entirely.

Budget Friendly

Fabric dyes tend to be quite budget friendly. They are a great way to create and be crafty. Many can be used for multiple projects, which helps stretch your budget even further. Some kits will dye up to twenty different shirts, for example. The initial cost of fabric dyes, even if you have to purchase soda ash or salt to use with the dye, is generally quite low.

Fun and Transformative

Experimenting and playing with fabric dyes can be really fun. It’s exciting to see what colors and patterns you can come up with or how a plain item can come alive and be transformed with dye. Fabric dyes have so many uses and are extremely versatile. They can be used for so much more than just t-shirts. They work great with cotton and colors will usually come out extremely vivid and resist fading.

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