Let’s learn how to dye our clothes black by looking for the best black dye for clothes.
Whether you want to get your clothes to be as black as they were initially or you want to change the color of your garments, we can do all that if we look for the proper dye.
I should also mention that the options from Rit are going to be the most popular in my search for the best black dyes for clothes.
This manufacturer is the most popular in this area and they have a variety of products to choose from. I’ll also try to review other manufacturers. But I would say that Rit remains the most popular because there aren’t that many manufacturers in this small niche. And that’s why Rit dominates this small market segment.
If you’re interested in even more projects, I recommend checking out my recommendations for the best fabric stiffeners.
I also wrote an article answering the question can you spray paint fabric. In that article, I reviewed the Tulip ColorShot Instant Fabric Color. And I’ll also review it here because they also have a black color that comes in the form of fabric spray paint in a 3 oz can. The price is quite cheap but the 3 oz quantity is quite tiny. Still, I think spray color for clothes can be an interesting option to talk about.
Best Black Dye for Clothes Reviews
Generally, black dye is quite affordable, even though the 8 oz quantity that seems to be the standard is not that big. I guess it depends how many clothes you want to bring back to their full glory if the color has seriously faded.
One of the cheapest recommendations from my search is the Rit Back to Black Dye Kit, which cost around $10 or something like that. Moreover, the advantage is that this is a complete kit. I would say that it offers great value for money.
I should also mention that this is my top recommendation not because it’s among the cheapest or because it’s called a kit but because it’s one of the most versatile dyes we could use. And we have the chance to achieve some nice results.
Another favorite pick is the Rit DyeMore Liquid Dye, Graphite. It deviates a bit from the standard, coming in a 7 oz bottle but the price is incredibly cheap. It’s pretty much the cheapest product we could buy. And it’s a nice option if we want to dye synthetic fabric and fabric blends.
The third option from this popular manufacturer is the Rit Dye Liquid. This one actually offers a wide selection of colors and black is among the wide availability of colors. Among Rit products, we could say that this is the most expensive. Although, the price under $15 can still be considered quite affordable. And you get to choose from a wide selection of colors if black dye is not the only thing you’re interested in.
Since we also have to introduce some other manufacturer besides Rit, I will also review the Jacquard Procion Mx Dye. It’s a bit more expensive.
1. Rit Back to Black Dye Kit: The Best Black Dye for Clothes
This really is a complete kit. And I love that it comes with everything that we need to get started as soon as we get this Rit kit.
The kit contains:
- Jet Black All-Purpose Dye – we are informed that we can achieve our darkest, richest, black ever and that sounds incredibly promising
- Color/Stay Dye Fixative – it reduces fading and enhances color, the Color/Stay Dye Fixative can also be bought separately for the other products that don’t include it and I recommend you consider buying it
- Gloves – always use gloves in your projects to protect your hands from getting stained
Each bottle measures 8 oz and that’s a good quantity.
Thanks to the Rit Back to Black Dye Kit we can restore faded clothing back to a rich black in a few easy steps.
We can also overdye clothing of any color to a vibrant black.
So we get to do both. Either restore clothes with faded colors or turn a garment from one color to another. It’s exactly what everyone is looking for.
What I also like a lot is that the Rit Back to Black Dye Kit is compatible with many types of fabrics.
Thus, it’s not good for synthetics. If those are the type of fabrics you’re working with, check out my next recommendation, the Rit DyeMore Liquid Dye, Graphite.
The inclusion of the Color/Stay Dye Fixative in such an affordable kit is a nice surprise. It reduces bleeding and fading. It’s an important product that I think you should buy separately if you’re buying another Rit product that doesn’t include this dye fixative.
Rit has guides on how to use their all-purpose dye for whatever method you might choose to perform for your projects: sink or bucket method, washing machine method, and stovetop method.
Each method has its advantages but if you’re looking for the easiest, that’s the washing machine method. What I would recommend is the stovetop method for vivid colors.
2. Rit DyeMore Liquid Dye, Graphite: The Best Black Dye for Synthetic Fabrics
The Rit DyeMore Liquid Dye, Graphite is great for synthetic fabrics and blends. Thus, we must choose the best black dye for clothes based on what type of fabrics we want to dye.
The Rit Back to Black Dye Kit that I reviewed above is great for cotton, linen, silk, wool, rayon, ramie or nylon.
But when it comes to synthetics and blends, I recommend checking out the Rit DyeMore Liquid Dye, Graphite.
It comes in a 7 oz bottle. The quantity is not very big but the price is one of the cheapest. That’s fantastic.
We can use the Rit DyeMore Liquid Dye, Graphite to dye synthetic fabric and fabric blends.
The fabric blends can include anything with 35% or more polyester, acrylic, acetate or nylon.
It is also a perfect pick if we want to rejuvenate faded clothing, for upcycling and for hiding laundry accidents.
It even works on 3D printed items, lacrosse sticks, wigs, and most plastics.
On the other hand, if we want to dye fabric with less than 35% synthetic fabric (polyester, acrylic or acetate), then we should use the Rit All-Purpose Dye, like the kit I recommended above.
It’s important to first establish what type of fabric or what type of fabric blend we’re trying to dye. And then we can decide which is the best black dye for clothes, for our specific clothes.
How to use it
The manufacturer has some recommendations. And you can always check out their website for various tips and guides if you need additional help or something is not completely clear.
We are advised to use the Rit DyeMore Liquid Dye, Graphite in a stainless steel pot on our stovetop to maintain a high water temperature throughout the duration of dyeing.
That’s because dyeing synthetic fabrics is described as being a complex process.
Thus, keep in mind that the Rit DyeMore Liquid Dye, Graphite cannot be used in the washing machine.
While the above Rit Back to Black Dye Kit can work with the washing machine method or the sink and bucket method, the Rit DyeMore Liquid Dye, Graphite should be applied using the stovetop technique.
We must maintain an almost boiling temperature for the duration of the process.
Thus, we must also note that we can’t use the Rit DyeMore Liquid Dye on anything that won’t fit into a pot on our stovetop but it helps if we have big stockpots.
The reason for which we cannot use the washing machine technique for synthetics is that the water temperature needed for the Rit DyeMore to penetrate the fabric can’t be reached by the washing machine but we can achieve that on the stovetop.
3. Rit Dye Liquid – Wide Selection of Colors
I love this product because we get to choose from a wide variety of colors.
While we’re here looking for the best black dye for clothes, the Rit Dye Liquid can be interesting if you are interested in other colors, as well.
There is a long list of colors to choose from: black, cherry red, apple green, aquamarine, camel, charcoal grey, cocoa brown, coral, dark brown, dark green, denim blue, eggplant, emerald, evening blue, fuchsia, golden yellow, hyacinth, indigo, and kelly green.
Among these options, you’ll also find the Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative. It’s the white bottle. I recommend getting this one, as well, because it’s used to lock the color that we just dyed for durability. It will keep the fabrics looking their best for the long run. And it reduces bleeding, fading, and even enhances colors. It works best on cotton, linen, rayon, and ramie.
The Rit Dye Liquid delivers a vibrant color to faded clothes.
All we need to get started is a washing machine, plastic container or a stainless-steel sink.
Thus, we can try the washing machine method or the sink or bucket method.
We can also use methods such as: tie-dye, ombre, dip-dyed, marbled, and shibori for patterns.
Moreover, the Rit Dye Liquid is another pick that is highly versatile. We can use it on clothing, shoes, accessories, home décor, wood, wicker, paper, and cork.
4. Jacquard Procion Mx Dye
It’s highly clear that the products from Jacquard are not as popular as the ones from Rit.
These ones from Jacquard also received a higher percentage of negative reviews. Well, the ones from Rit also have a pretty high percentage of negative reviews so that’s the world of cloth dyes.
The first thing that I want to mention is that I like that the Jacquard Procion Mx Dye is available in a spectrum of 43 colors.
This is a cold water dye for natural fibers.
I’m sure that there might be some crafters who might be interested in the fact that this one from Jacquard is a cold water dye. Many other dyes will require heat but the Procion Mx Dye can be applied with cold water, away from the stovetop.
It is ideal for coloring cellulosic fibers: cotton, linen, canvas, hemp, jute, ramie, sisal, paper, and rayon.
But it excels in a variety of techniques: tie dye, immersion dyeing, batik, screen printing, direction application, gradation/ombre dyeing, sprinkle dyeing, shibori, and ice dyeing.
Jacquard Procion Mx Dye is a fiber-reactive dye.
It forms a covalent bond with fibers. That can make it more permanent.
The cheapest option is the ⅔ oz bottle. It’s tiny but we can dye more than 1 pound of dry fabric.
The next size is the 8 oz bottle.
Surprisingly, we also get a 1 pound bottle.
The prices are a bit high but they can be worth it if Rit is not the manufacturer for you.
5. Tulip ColorShot Instant Fabric Spray Color 3oz. Black
This is completely different from all the other options that I recommended in this article looking for the best black dye for clothes.
It’s a cheap product but the 3 oz quantity is tiny.
It is an aerosol fabric spray.
It works great on natural and synthetic fabrics so there are no restrictions here.
I should also mention that it’s permanent and machine washable.
Using it is very easy.
6. Rit All-Purpose Powder Dye
This comes in powder form and it can be an interesting option to consider if you haven’t had success until now in dyeing your clothes as black as you want them to look.
The price is quite affordable, under $10, as get 2 packs, each weighing ⅛ oz (31.9g). It’s a small quantity but this is described as being all-purpose concentrated.
To give you a better understanding about what this small quantity can do, the manufacturer mentions that each pack is enough for approximately 1 pound dry weight or 3 yards of medium weight fabric. It’s not that much, that’s for sure.
The Rit All-Purpose Powder Dye works on many washable fabrics.
We can use it for natural fibers (cotton, silk, and linen).
Moreover, it also works with synthetics (nylon and acetate).
Blends will tin evenly but they will not achieve full color so I wouldn’t consider using this powder dye for blend fabrics.
We are also advised to use the washing machine technique for maximum coverage. The washing machine method is good if we want to dye large items. And if we’re looking for really the easiest method.
But we can also use the stovetop technique for best color results when we’re dyeing clothes black. The stovetop method requires more involvement from us but it can help us achieve as vibrant a color as possible. Or when we’re dyeing nylon.
To prove its wide coverage, we can also use it with tie-dye techniques.
And it can be brushed or rubbed onto wood projects for staining or stenciling.
How to use it
In this guide, Rit advises us that we should double the dye quantity if we are trying to achieve a bold color. That seriously increases the price.
So, 2 powder packages dye 1 kg (about 2 pounds) of dry fabric.
However, if we want a very bold color, Rit says that we need 4 packs for about 2 pounds of dry fabric. Or 2 packs for 1 pound. But that’s what we’re told we need if we are trying to achieve a very bold color.
How to die our clothes black
Rit has a guide on how to get a rich, dark color. They also mention that it’s simple if we follow a few simple steps.
Of course, the first important step is to choose the best black dye for clothes.
And we saw that there are cases in which one product is more for natural fabrics or for blend fabrics with less than 35% synthetic fabric (polyester, acrylic or acetate), like it was the case with the Rit Back to Black Dye Kit.
On the other hand, if we have synthetic fabrics or blends with more than 35% synthetic fabric, then it’s recommended that we use the Rit DyeMore Liquid Dye, Graphite. And we saw that the very important specification for this particular product was that we need to use the stovetop technique, that’s the only one that works.
While with the Rit Back to Black Dye Kit we can use the washing machine method, the stovetop method or the sink or bucket method (stainless steel sink).
On the other hand, the Jacquard Procion Mx Dye is a cold water dye for natural fibers.
What I’m trying to say is that the first thing we should do when we decide to learn how to dye our clothes black is that we need to check out what our particular product says and what the manufacturer’s instructions are.
Getting back to the Rit guide, which is tailored for their Rit Back to Black Dye Kit and the Rit DyeMore Liquid Dye, Graphite, we are informed that their products love hot water. That’s the opposite of Jacquard Procion Mx Dye.
We can use the stovetop method, which I recommend if you want to obtain vivid colors.
Hot water relaxes the fabric so that it can absorb the dye.
The stovetop method enables us to maintain a very hot temperature throughout the dyeing process and that will get us the darkest color possible.
So, if you’re using Rit, my recommendation is the stovetop method, even if it involves more active participation from our part.
Double the standard dye quantity
This is another Rit advice that I already covered when I reviewed the Rit All-Purpose Powder Dye above.
If we want intense, deep colors, we need to double the dye quantity. Of course, that also increases the total price of our project.
Rit says that if we’re dyeing one pair of pants, pour the whole bottle into the dyebath. If we’re dyeing more than one pair, use multiple bottles.
This is a step we need to take before starting the dyeing process.
We should wash the fabric in warm, soapy water without any fabric softeners. It will remove any finishes that may interfere with dye absorption.
And remove any stains if there are any.
Add salt or vinegar
This salt or vinegar method applies if we’re dyeing cotton, linen, silk, wool, nylon rayon and ramie.
If we want to enhance the color:
- 240 mL of salt for cotton, rayon, ramie or linen
- 240 mL vinegar for nylon, silk or wool
The addition of salt and vinegar can also help to enhance the color.
Time in dyebath
We should allow our clothes to remain in the dyebath for 30-60 minutes, stirring constantly.
So you’ll be next to the stovetop for the next 30-60 minutes.
Of course, the color appears darker when the clothes are wet and it fades when we dry them.
Use Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative
Some kits will include the Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative, like the Rit Back to Black Dye Kit.
Others will not.
You can buy it separately if you want to end up your dyeing job with the Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative.
Rit describes it as the ultimate secret weapon.
It’s quite easy to use.
We need to soak our dyed item with the ColorStay Dye Fixative after dyeing but before washing.
The purpose of the ColorStay Dye Fixative is to enhance color and reduce bleeding. It can make the color look more vibrant, which is definitely a good thing to want.
All in all, besides choosing the best black dye for clothes, there are other things that we must pay attention to. And important instructions that we should follow according to whatever product we end up using.
How to change color
One reason for looking to dye our clothes is that the color fades. That’s even more apparent when we’re talking about black clothes that go from their initial vibrant, striking appearance to a dull black or even something resembling a dirty gray.
Another reason is that we want to change the color of a garment completely. Maybe we want to make it from red to black and give it new life. I think this process of changing the color completely into black can be more of a hit or miss, it can be more complicated.
Rit has a guide for changing the color, too.
We go through the same process of selecting which dye we should choose based on the type of fabric we are working with, whether it’s natural or synthetic or blend and the percentage of synthetic for the blend.
If we’re trying to change a light color into a darker color, then we’re in luck because we have to follow the exact same standard instructions that we must follow when we want to turn a faded black into a new, vibrant black.
And since we’re here looking for the best black dye for clothes, that makes us fortunate so we are left following the same basic instructions.