How to Dye a Skirt. If you want to dye a skirt, you can do so using a fabric dye obtained from a fabric or sewing store, or make your own using ink or paint. Before you dye your skirt, you need to take into consideration the material it's made from so you can select a coloring agent that will saturate the fibers of the fabric.

Select a fiber-reactive dye that can be used with cool water. All-purpose dyes require very hot water to become active, and because you'll need to let the skirt soak, it can be very difficult to maintain the high water temperature needed to get the dye to work its magic.

Use at least triple to four times the usual amount of dye if you want to turn your skirt black. It is important that you completely saturate the fibers of the fabric in black. Otherwise, the skirt's original color will linger beneath the black, giving the material an odd, murky, chromatic appearance.

Mix the dye with water, in the proportions listed in the directions, and leave the skirt to soak for as long as directed. This may be all that's necessary if you're dyeing your skirt black or another solid, dark color.

Dye your skirt using your washing machine if you want to turn your skirt from its present color to a new, smooth, consistent and even single color. Mix the dye into your washing machine, adding about 20 cups worth of salt to the water, and set the machine to run on the longest possible cycle. Then, reset the machine just before it reaches the drain cycle.

Combine water with permanent marker ink in about a 1:1 ratio to create an inexpensive dye alternative. You can use permanent marker ink in lieu of fabric dye, especially if you want to dye your skirt black, though keep in mind that it may take several attempts before your skirt is completely saturated with its new color. Simply soak the skirt in the ink-and-water mixture until it's been absorbed into the material, and then repeat as necessary.


You will not be able to dye "dry clean only" fabrics. The only materials you can dye are ones that you can machine wash. Bleach your skirt to turn it white before you dye it. This will make the job of getting the dye to saturate into the fabric much easier.


Read the instructions that come with all dyes you use. Many of them require the presence of another acidic chemical, such as vinegar, in order to work properly. You may also need to use soda ash, and some dyes and additives must be dissolved in water before being added to a washing machine.