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Dye a Blue Garment to Olive

· Yellow plus blue makes green ·

August 19, 2017 Comments Off on Dye a Blue Garment to Olive

Olive is the new black. So, what do you do with the old black? Keep it. But think about dyeing your old blues to olive.

This skirt, purchased in the early noughties, was originally khaki. I dyed it blue in 2010. In 2017, I overdyed it with Rit Golden Yellow to get olive.


I detailed my Rit dyeing tips here. I followed my own recommendations when dyeing this skirt:

1. Use more dye for an intense result. One bottle of liquid dye will color 2 pounds of fabric. This skirt weighs less than ½ lb, but I wanted to definitely shift the blue to green. Half a bottle might have done the job, but what would I do with half a bottle of yellow dye?

2. Add salt to the dye bath. A cup of salt is recommended for the best results with cotton garments.


3. Be sure the garment soaks in the dye bath for 30 minutes. I set a timer for 10 minutes and then reset the wash cycle, twice, to ensure the skirt was soaked for 30 minutes before the rinse began. A short dye bath has unpredictable results.

4. Wash the garment after dyeing. Initial results may look patchy. (That was the case with this skirt.) A wash after the dye bath evens the color.

5. Be prepared for the unexpected. I was hoping for a slightly more drab, blue-ish shade of green. I got “olive,” but it’s a bit brighter than I wanted. (It more closely resembles the food than the military shade.)


Olive is still going strong. If you’ve got a blue item that needs a refresh, try overdyeing with a golden yellow to create that trendy green shade.

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