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Change the Color of Cross Stitch Fabrics

Natural Fabrics Work Best With Most Methods


Many methods may be used to dye Cross Stitch fabric. Use items from your home, or purchase products designed for dyeing fabric. Experiment with different methods for creating unique fabrics for stitching.

1. Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is a great medium for fabric. You can use it directly from the tube, dilute it, or incorporate an additional additive that will allow you to heat set the paint. There are even glow in the dark acrylic paints.

2. Bleach (Works on Colored Fabrics)

Taking a careful approach, bleach may be used to remove color from fabric. You should do spot tests first, because some fabrics have interesting under colors.

3. Coffee Dyeing

Photo © Connie G. Barwick, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Change the color of your Cross Stitch fabric with left-over coffee or used coffee grounds. Soaking the fabric in diluted coffee will produce an all over color change while scattering grounds on the fabric produce a marbled effect.

In the photo, the non-dyed fabric is on the left. As you can see, coffee dying fabric (shown on the right) produces a subtle effect.

4. Crayon Tinting

Grab the kids crayons and color on your fabric. I am serious. Or, better yet, buy your own new box of crayons to use. (Love that smell!)

5. Drink Mix Dye

Kool Aid and other purchased drink mixes make great dyes. Don't you know how difficult the stains are to get out?

6. Hot or Cold Water Dyes

Purchased dyes come in two main forms - hot water and cold water formulas. Either one will be great for changing the color of your fabrics.

7. Marbleing

If you decide to marble fabric, you will want to do more than one piece at a time. Setting up the marbling solution is time-consuming. Learn more about marbling.

8. Stamping

Use stamps to create a unique background or use the stamps as a pattern for stitching a design.

9. Tea Dyeing

Tea Dyed fabric smells so good. Use different types of teas to produce different colors. Tea dyeing produces a much more dramatic effect than coffee dyeing.

10. Tie-Dyeing

How many t-shirts did you tie dye when you were younger? Apply the technique to Cross Stitch fabric for a cool affect.

11. Watercolor Paint

Learn how to add watercolors to your projects by watching this Leisure Arts video.

Submit a Photo of Your Cross Stitch Project

Have you done a project on hand-dyed fabric? Share a photo - we love to see your projects!

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