Adventure in Rug Dying

Our little fixer upper has these awesome original hardwood floors…but they are in rough shape.  Until we get to the point of refinishing them we needed a rug to soften the look of the living room and cover up the years of neglect.  The living room is huge…and so we needed a huge rug.  In comes the Craigslist searching…

We found a perfect wool rug, $40 for an 8’x 11′ but it is dusty rose…and showing some wear and tear but that is ok because we are going to dye it turquoise.  Yes you read that right, a giant turquoise rug, because we can.

We googled some directions (we used these ones) and picked up some supplies from Granville Island (Maiwa Supply Store) and then turned our gutted basement into a rug dying laboratory.

THE ORIGINAL LOOK

The rug before our experiment…in all its dusty rose glory.

 

REMOVING THE DUSTY ROSE

Before dying the rug we had to removed as much of the old dye as possible.  We used Thiox and Soda Ash from Maiwa and performed the dye removing bath 2 times to get it to where we wanted it.  We didn’t use a bucket heater as our hot water tank seemed to produce a high enough heat when we cranked it up to full.

The total time spent on this process was about 2 hours over 2 nights.

 

DYE BATH

After removing the old dye we proceeded to create a third bath for the rug of dye, vinegar and salt.  We let it soak for about 2 hours, turning every 30 minutes, then gave it a rinse on a tarp in the back yard.  It came out…very bright!

The total time on this process was about 2 hours one afternoon.

 

A FINISHED PRODUCT

After drying for many days in the basement we brought the rug upstairs and put it in the living room.  We vacuumed it many many times…and then vacuumed it again.  The finished product is much brighter and more saturated than we had anticipated but that is what you get when you experiment.  We are going to leave it for now and see how much the saturation grows on us.  If it still feels too bright in a few weeks we can always give it a light bath in dye remover to lighten the overall look.

The total investment in our rug experiment was $100.  $40 for the rug, $60 for the dying supplies…and about 5 hours of our time.

2017-03-25T00:44:15-07:00

2 Comments

  1. Wesley Smith November 5, 2018 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    I’m thinking about doing this with a thick wool rug. How did you move this thing around when wet? My rug ways 60 lbs dry so I can’t imagine how much it will weigh wet.

    • Melissa November 27, 2018 at 11:31 am - Reply

      Hi Wesley, moving the rug around was certainly a challenge when wet. We had two people when moving it and trying to churn the water and dye.

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