Can Black Ink Be Used to Dye Clothes? – Full Guide

Last Updated on August 5, 2023

Discover can black ink be used to dye clothes? Is it possible to dye without dye? If you’re new to dyeing clothes or looking for a fresh approach to refresh your favorite garments, this post is perfect for you. Here, we’ll explore the potential of using black ink to dye clothes, a topic that has intrigued DIY enthusiasts and fashion lovers alike.

Can Black Ink Be Used to Dye Clothes
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From the versatility of black ink to unique techniques like tie-dyeing with Sharpie pens, we’ll examine whether black ink can effectively be used to transform your wardrobe.

Let’s embark on this colorful journey and discover the true potential of black ink in the realm of fabric dyeing!

Can black ink be used to dye clothes?

Yes, black ink can be used to dye clothes. Black ink is a versatile and easy-to-use color for dyeing clothes, making it suitable for beginners. You can create a range of shades from deep black to light grey. A cool tie-dye effect can be achieved by using colored Sharpie pens on a T-shirt.

However, inkjet printer ink is not suitable for dyeing cotton as it is composed of dispersed dyes that work only on synthetic fibers like polyester.

You can use an inexpensive fabric dye like Rit to re-dye black clothing. A dye bath can be prepared by mixing All Purpose Dye in a sink or bucket and soaking the clothing for 30 to 60 minutes. Despite the presence of alcohol, Sharpie ink does not dissolve in water, and as the alcohol washes away, the ink can create interesting patterns and colors as it diffuses.

Black tie-dye clothing can be used for various purposes, including tablecloths, and can be dyed over white, light colors, or even dark clothing. The color will not fade. A natural black dye can be made from iris roots, and the fabric can be dyed using a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 4 parts water, simmered for an hour, and then rinsed under cool water.

Can I use black screen printing ink to dye polyester Clothing?

No, you cannot use black screen printing ink, such as Plastisol, to dye polyester clothing, as it does not penetrate the fibers but sits on top. To dye polyester, you can use sublimation ink with a specialized inkjet printer and a heat press, which penetrates the garment fibers and dyes them permanently.

However, sublimation inks are expensive and work best on 100% polyester and light colors. Plastisol screen printing ink is unsuitable for dyeing fabric, as it cures on top of the fiber and does not dye it permanently.

Can Inkjet printer black color ink dye black jean pants?

As we described earlier, inkjet printer ink is not suitable for dyeing. So, inkjet printer black ink is also unsuitable for dyeing black jeans pants. It is expensive, may stain other clothes when washed, and is not usually waterproof. Instead, use a proper fabric dye like Rit Dye Liquid – Black, and follow the directions carefully.

black jean pants
Image Source: Shutterstock

Can you dye clothes with Sharpie?

Yes, you can use Sharpies to create designs or patterns on clothes, but you cannot fully dye an entire piece of clothing with a Sharpie. The ink in a Sharpie is not water-soluble and would not provide even coverage for dyeing purposes.

If you want to dye your clothes, it’s better to use fabric dye like RIT dye, available in liquid or powder form. Follow the directions on the dye packaging or watch YouTube tutorials for guidance on how to use it effectively.

Remember, experimenting and trying new things are essential for learning and growth. Don’t let others discourage you from exploring creative ideas.

How to Dye Fabric Black Without Dye? – Homemade Black Dye for Clothes

If you are looking for how to dye clothes black at home with homemade dye for clothes, Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to dye fabric black using acrylic paint:

  • Gather your materials: acrylic paint, a container large enough to hold the fabric and water, a stirring stick or spoon, and the fabric you want to dye.
  • Wet the fabric: Make sure your fabric is thoroughly wet to avoid blotchiness and ensure an even color.
  • Prepare the dye bath: Fill the container with water, leaving enough room for submerging the fabric. Avoid diluting the paint to maintain a true black color.
  • Add acrylic paint: Add black acrylic paint to the water, using as much as needed to achieve the desired shade. Mix until the paint is completely dissolved, avoiding any clumps.
  • Submerge the fabric: Place the wet fabric into the dye bath, ensuring it is completely submerged and that the dye reaches every part of the fabric.
  • Let it sit: Allow the fabric to soak in the dye for at least 30 minutes. Longer soaking times may result in a deeper color.
  • Remove and wring out: Gently wring out the fabric, careful not to rinse the dye. This will help the fabric absorb the dye.
  • Dry the fabric: Hang the fabric to dry for 24-48 hours. It will be stiff when dry, but this is normal.
  • Soften the fabric: Place the fabric in a dryer on a low heat setting to soften it.
  • Wait before washing: To ensure the dye has been set, wait a couple of weeks before washing the fabric. When you do wash it, do so separately to avoid color transfer to other garments.

This method is an affordable alternative to traditional fabric dyes and can yield satisfactory results. However, be aware that the durability of the dye may vary compared to using traditional fabric dyes.

Video: How to Dye Clothes With Acrylic Paint

Transform your wardrobe with Brandi Monard’s simple yet effective technique for dyeing clothes using acrylic paint! Follow her easy 9-step process to give your garments a fresh, bold look in no time.


So, black ink can be used to dye clothes, but it is important to remember that the results may not be consistent or long-lasting. Using the right materials and techniques is also important to ensure the fabric properly absorbs the ink.

While it may be a fun and creative way to experiment with clothes dyeing, it is always best to consult a professional or do extensive research before attempting it on your own.

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