If your fabric roman shades are looking dull and stained, revive them with fabric dye. Improved cold-water dyes, suitable for natural fibers and polyester blends, will enable you to recolor your shades without fabric shrinkage or stretching of the shade cords. Use these tips to successfully dye your fabric roman shades.
Step 1 - Weigh the Shades and Clean Them Before Dyeing
Determine how many pounds your shades weigh and buy one package of cold water fabric dye for each pound. Choose a slightly darker color for synthetic blends as they do not absorb dye as readily as natural fibers. Vacuum, brush and spot-clean the shades as needed before applying dye. Wind up the lifting cords loosely and dye them too. If you are not happy with the dyed cords, replace them with new color-matched lifting strings.
Step 2 - Prepare the Dyeing Basin
Run about 10 inches of cold water into a large stainless steel sink, enough cold water to cover the shades. In a separate bowl, mix the packages of cold water dye, fixer and salt with one pint (500 ml) of tap water at its hottest temperature. Put on rubber gloves and stir the dye solution with a stainless steel spoon until completely blended. Add the dye to the cold water in the sink and stir once to meld it evenly with the water. Keep the gloves on until after the shades are washed following dyeing.
Step 3 - Place the Roman Shades in the Dye
Set the unfolded roman shades, including lifting strings, in the dye mixture and press down into the sink until covered. Lift and stir continuously for 10 minutes to ensure dye has reached all sections of the fabric and strings. Allow the shades to sit submerged in the dye for one hour. If you are dyeing the shades a very dark color such as deep green, burgundy, navy or black, allow to sit for two to three hours. Check once an hour on the color depth.
Step 4 - Rinse and Wash the Roman Shades
When the color has reached the desired intensity, drain out the sink and rinse the shades with cold water, until no more dye appears to be escaping from the fabric. Wash the roman shades in warm water with a detergent safe for that fabric.
Step 5 - Dry and Inspect the Shades
Turn the dryer to the cool setting. Tumble dry the shades for one hour and check. Continue tumble-drying until they look evenly dry with no damp spots. Inspect the shades and strings for evenness of color. If you are satisfied with the color, rehang the roman shades. If the lifting strings did not take the dye satisfactorily, release them from the loops, spray them with a paint made for plastics and let them dry for 24 hours. Reattach the lifting strings and rehang the shades.