When we moved apartments and went from a dark green bedroom to a white one, we knew our white duvet would get lost in the new space. So I started scouring Pinterest (of course) and realized all the colors I liked were easily $200+. Ahahah. Maybe someday.
We still had 2 white duvet covers and with ~$30 in dye, I knew we could get what we wanted without spending a mini fortune. And thus the Double Tub Method was born!
This dyeing method is perfect if you live in a small space or an apartment with communal washers. By dyeing in your bathroom, you can easily monitor your color, won’t have to worry about dyeing the machines, and you can save all your quarters.
For the Double Tub Method you’ll need:
1 cup salt
plastic storage bin large enough for your piece to move freely in
Put your plastic bin inside the tub/shower. Fill with the hottest water you can, leaving enough room for your duvet to move freely. Add dye and salt. As a general guideline, one box of powder dye or 1/2 bottle (1/2 cup) of liquid dye will color one pound of dry weight fabric.
Pro Tip: Check the item description of your duvet cover online- lots of retailers list the item’s weight. For example, we have a $25 cotton set from IKEA and they list the weight as 3lb, 6oz. Win!
Test the dye bath on scrap fabric that’s the same material as your duvet. Once you get the desired color, add the duvet to the bath. Stir constantly with a thick piece of scrap wood for 10-30 minutes until it’s the reached the desired color. The stirring will help achieve a uniform dye.
Rinse thoroughly in warm water, gradually making the water cooler until the water runs clear or throw in the washing machine on a cool setting with an old towel to soak up the excess dye. Optional: To reduce color bleeding, Rit Dye suggests using their fixative immediately after dyeing. We haven’t had a problem washing the duvet with other laundry but have noticed that the color has faded a bit. After washing, hang up to dry or run through the dryer.
Clean up time! Slowly pour the dye down the tub drain with running water. Don’t try to rush this part; the dye droplets can stain porcelain.
If you’re curious about the colors I mixed, I started with Rit Dye’s Color Formula Guide to get a rough idea of dye proportions.