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Can I dye the upholstery of garden furniture?

Fabric for garden furniture and lounge sets often need to be freshened up after a few seasons. Black spots of moisture appear, colours fade and rings or stains from sunscreen and spilled drinks are visible.

Instead of buying a new garden set, it is sometimes possible to dye the fabric. There are a number of things to take into account when dyeing:

1. The composition of the fabric determines whether you can dye it. Polyester is regularly used in upholstery of garden furniture. Polyester cannot be dyed with ordinary fabric dye. It is possible with most other materials. Please refer to the washing instructions for your upholstery fabric to determine whether your fabric is made of polyester. If it is partly made of polyester, the colour will be lighter.

2. If the fabric is removable you can usually dye it in the washing machine. Non-removable fabrics can be dyed with a spray bottle or brush.

3. To prevent dust from sticking, the fabric is often treated with water-repellent protective layers. These layers usually disappear after several washes. On new fabrics or on fabrics with very strong water-repellent protective layers, fabric dye adheres very poorly to the fibers. After dyeing, you can treat the fabric again with a water-repellent spray.

4. Water-repellent products and residues of products such as sunscreen are best cleaned thoroughly to prevent stains. By using a dishwasher tablet instead of ordinary detergent you achieve a much better cleaning of the fabric.

5. Choose the new color in the same shade as of the original fabric, preferably slightly darker. Coloring a beige fabric brown is therefore better than dyeing a blue fabric yellow. Textile color is not an opaque color, so yellow color gives a green result for blue upholstery.

6. First order a single bag and test the result on a small piece of fabric. You can also order several bags to test multiple colours and mix them if necessary. When you have found the right shade, buy the final quantity in the right colour.

7. Colors fade faster in UV light. Sunlight contains a lot of UV radiation, which often causes your fabric to fade after only a short period of time. Use Aybel Fiske fixative in the final rinse water to keep your colours beautiful for longer.