I wanted to use a beautiful tapestry help camouflage an unsightly swamp cooler that was located on a focal point wall but the colors just didn’t go. I loved the tapestry – it is an outdoor patio scene that was serene and restful. The only drawback were the colors. The room colors were greens and blues and pink or purple as an accent. The tapestry had some greens but was more burnt orange than than pink or purple. So, what does a budget minded person do in this case? There was not an option of replacing the tapestry – it was a great scene and fit the area perfectly, not to mention, pretty pricey.
Solution? Change the colors! So, how to do that you ask? Not as difficult as one would think. No Rit Dye and Hot Water needed. I visited the local craft store and purchased fabric dyes. I bought a beginner kit that had all of the basic colors in it. It was located near the t-shirt area and was less than $10. If you play your cards right, most craft stores have a sale that includes a percentage off coupon that can be used toward this. Don’t forget to read the instructions included with the fabric dye.
I highly recommend testing the dye out on an inconspicuous part of the tapestry to make sure it will work and not damage the tapestry. Cotton and natural fibers accept the color more readily but synthetics will dye well too. I also recommend using a plastic bag or a vinyl tablecloth to protect the area you will work at. I gathered a few materials as well to help me do this project including- several sponge brushes (I used the one inch size, it seemed to work well), cotton swabs, a wet washcloth or rag, my glasses(!), several bowls (I recommend glass or Corelle so they don’t pick up the dye) and some extra water.
I put a couple drops of the dye in the bowls and checked out the consistency so I knew what I would be working with as far as consistency. There are products that can extend the dye product or make it runnier if it is thick called textile medium or water. This is where the cotton swabs and sponge brushes come in, apply the dye using these. Cotton swabs work well for tiny or smaller areas. Words of caution- go lightly, the more you put on, the darker the color of the fabric becomes and you could end up with an almost black spot when you are done. You can always add more color but you can’t really remove color once it is on there.