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Style DIY: Adventures in Rit Dying a pair of Rag & Bone Legging Jeans

I love love LOVED the feel and comfort of my Rag & Bone leggings but the colour always put me a off a little.

It was this strange, olive, yellow-toned green that was very unflattering against my skintone (I do better with blue-based greens)..


I tried to find a shot of the pants before, but I clearly hated the colour so much that I rarely took photos of my wearing the pants.

This is probably the closest to the colour it was in real life:

WHAT I WANTED INSTEAD: The dye job that would achieve this!

…were these instead:


MY FIRST ATTEMPT: Spoiler Alert – Don’t hot wash the results

So my gloves had a hole in them. I didn’t know until 10 minutes in when I thought:

How odd, my right thumb is occasionally super hot but the left one is fine…

Turns out my glove had a hole in them and my fingers turned NAVY BLUE.

It has been 5 days and traces of it still exist after scrubbing, exfoliation.. *facepalm*

Use gloves without holes in them and check to make sure they aren’t ruined before you start dying.

So I went from this:

To this.. which I kind of considered a slight improvement:

I had it dyed a beautiful navy blue and then without thinking about it, I threw it in the wash on the HOTTEST SETTING POSSIBLE to… er.. set it??


What a stupid move.

It washed out all the dye completely.

What I should have done, was handwash it in cold water with a lot of salt and then handwash it again.

I wanted to cry, I had already spent a backbreaking hour over the sink swishing, and I had JUST finished cleaning the entire kitchen already and I’d have to do it AGAIN.

MY SECOND ATTEMPT: Two rounds of cold hand washing in salt baths

So live and learn, I hand washed it in the sink with a ton of salt, and for good measure, threw it in the washer on super cold with another ton of salt.


Side by side, Attempt #1 and Attempt #2.


I am pretty pleased with the results. I used RIT Navy dye and it turned .. navy!

It isn’t quite this kind of navy blue, it is more of a midnight navy blue but I am pleased nevertheless.

Things to remember:

  • Rit Dye in Montreal Canada is sold at Michael’s and costs around $7
  • In general, read the official instructions ONLINE not on the bottle which is too small to hold all this info.

Here are my tips:

  • Have a lot of salt on hand to set the colour.
  • Only dye natural fabrics not polyester. Cotton, is your best bet.
  • Use a plastic tub that is a very dark colour (I used navy) because it will get stained
  • Do not attempt to dye anything in anything but a metal sink because it WILL dye your counters and anything around it no matter how careful you are.
  • Lay down covers or something on your counters around the metal sink to try and counteract the dye.
  • Use super hot water with the dye (the hottest you can stand, boiling a huge pot of it is best) and then dye with that.
  • DO NOT HOT WASH the dyed fabric after an hour of backbreaking, painstaking, swishing-in-the-tub work in hot water, you need to HAND WASH IT ON COLD with a ton of salt.
  • HAND WASH the results.
  • HAND WASH the results.

I am quite pleased with the results. I got the navy blue I wanted, in hindsight I should have maybe mixed a little cobalt blue in there to make it less midnight navy, but.. YAY!

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Posted on July 19, 2015

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  1. Meredith Seiser

    I clorox my hands if I can’t get the dye off.

    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I don’t own any bleach, as it makes me nervous but I’ll try with Oxiclean next time. Thanks for the tip.

  2. SarahN

    Sorry you found it so back breaking etc etc. I suppose I’ve been lucky to use with a white porcelain sink and no real issues – other than the end colour not being to my taste of course!

    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Yeah, the mix was not what I expected. Oh well 🙂

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