How to Dye a Baby Wrap
Learn how to dye a baby wrap with these detailed instructions. I started dyeing carriers because my favorite carrier brand did not come in the colors I wanted. I'm picky about colors, especially if it is a color that I'm going to be wearing! Please note: as with all carriers, dyeing or otherwise altering them completely voids any manufacturer's warranties.
Before you dye anything, be aware of how the starting color will affect the end result. No dyes will completely coverup existing color, it will blend with the dye. This means that yellow fabric dyed blue will result in a green fabric, for example. Check a color wheel if you don't remember the rules from elementary school art class or if you aren't still paying off your fine arts degrees like yours truly. Also be aware that it is impossible to achieve a lighter color than the one you are starting with.
How to Dye a Baby Wrap Instructions:
for cotton, hemp, linen, rayon, bamboo
The light beige wrap pictured above was my "before" wrap. It is a Leo Storchenwiege
in natural and 100% cotton. I wanted a bright green wrap, but knew that the slight tan undertone of the original tone would "muddy" the color so I made sure to pick a dye that was slightly more bright than what I wanted in the end.
Below is an example of how the original color affects the end result. The shirts were pure white, while the bottom fabric was slightly tan like the wrap:
For professional results, you should not use a drugstore type of dye on an expensive carrier. They are not colorfast and will fade overtime and it is difficult to get even results with them. However, if you are simply dyeing a length of fabric on a DIY carrier go ahead and follow the directions on your drugstore brand dye...but don't say I didn't warn you! I use Fiber Reactive Procion Dyes
and always do it in my top loading washing machine. I've also used the vat method (stirring in your tub or a large plastic bin) but I've always gotten more even results with the washing machine.
These cotton fabric dyeing instructions
are what I use for wraps, even though the instructions are written out for onesies. It is the exact same process so I won't repeat it here. For my natural leo storch turned green I used 1oz kelly green, 1oz emerald green and 1oz bright yellow. It is fun to mix dye color to get a truly unique shade, just remember to write down what you did in case you love it and want to repeat it.
Pulling it out of the wash:
Here is the final bright green result:
If you are lucky enough to have a silk or wool wrap you can also dye those, but will need to use a vinegar (acid) base rather than the soda ash as your fixative. Ideally, you should do this on your stovetop to get it very hot, but if you do not have a pan large enough for all that fabric you can also do it in a vat with very hot water although your colors will not be as vibrant. Here are wool and silk dyeing
instructions. Also, here are how to dye with Kool-Aid
instructions which can also be used on wraps.