How to Dye Faded Black Band Shirts

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Clothing fades over time from regular wear and the laundry process. This is more obvious when the fabric is black. You can dye black items to make them look new again but this may seem impossible for items with an image, such as a band shirt. Fortunately, there are techniques that you can use to protect the logo on your favorite black band shirt during the dye process, such as the batik method. The process is straightforward and requires a few supplies.

Cover your work surface with plastic to avoid stains. Place the shirt on the plastic and stretch it out to remove any wrinkles. Place a piece of cardboard inside the shirt, under the band logo. Protect your hands with a pair of thick rubber gloves.

Melt equal parts of paraffin wax and beeswax in a double boiler. Dip a small paintbrush into the wax and apply the wax to the band image on the shirt. Remove the cardboard from the shirt when the wax is dry. If wax is unavailable, you may apply a commercial batik resist medium. Ensure you do not cover the faded black fabric that may be contained in the image.

Mix the black dye in a container according to the instructions that the manufacturer has provided on the package. If you must dissolve the dye in hot water, wait until it is lukewarm or cool before you dye the shirt. This is to prevent the wax from melting off the image.

Apply the dye around the image and to the rest of the shirt with a medium-size paintbrush. Place the shirt in a plastic bag and ensure that the bag is airtight.

Place the plastic bag in a microwave oven. Set the oven to the highest setting and microwave the shirt for two minutes. This sets the dye and melts the resist.

Remove the bag from the microwave. Remove the shirt from the bag when the bag has cooled. Rinse the shirt in successive bowls of clean water until there are no more traces of dye in the water.

Hand wash or machine wash the shirt with mild detergent in lukewarm water. Rinse it clean and dry it. You may use a dryer or let the shirt air dry.