How to dye with Procion MX Dyes in a washing machine


Cotton, linen, or viscose rayon can be successfully dyed in the washing machine to achieve a wide range of vibrant colours. The method is quick, easy, and excellent colour fastness is achieved.

The full range of PROCION MX dyes are suitable for dyeing in the washing machine and an even wider range of shades can be achieved by mixing the PROCION MX dyes.

The PROCION MX dyes are extremely versatile and can be dyed on a 40ºc or 50ºc washing cycle. The 40ºc cycle is preferable if the time of the washing/dyeing cycle can be extended to about 1 hour. If this is not feasible, then the 50ºc cycle can be used to boost the uptake of the dye by the fabric. Note: If possible, use a cold fill to start the cycle.

Before commencing with the dyeing, it is important to check that the fabric is reasonably clean and free of sizes, starches or oils. If in doubt, give the fabric a hot machine wash at 60ºc with washing powder before commencing dyeing.

In ‘hard water’ areas it is important to use CALGON PT in the dyeing to eliminate the effects of calcium and magnesium salts in the water. If CALGON PT is not used when dyeing in hard water areas, resultant dyeings will be weak and less vibrant.

Note: After dyeing in the washing machine, some dye may be carried over to the next cycle, so it is important to give the machine a hot wash and rinse to remove any residual dye stains.


Whilst the fabric is still dry, weigh the cotton, linen or viscose rayon to be dyed.

If the fabric to be dyed contains oils or finishing agents, it is important to remove these before dyeing as these will affect the dye uptake of the fabric. If in doubt, give the fabric a hot machine wash (60ºc) with washing powder to remove any contaminants. Remember to weigh the fabric before washing.

It is recommended that 4gms of PROCION MX dye per 100gms of fabric is used to achieve strong colours. This can be reduced to 2gms for medium colours and 1gm for pale colours. (A heaped teaspoon of PROCION MX dye weights approximately 4gms).


  1. Add 500gms of solid common salt through the front of the washing machine (500gms equals about a cupful of salt)
  2. Dissolve the PROCION MX dye in tepid water and add through the front of the washing machine.
  3. Add the fabric to be dyed and close the door.
  4. Add 2 heaped tablespoons of soda ash to the powder holder of the washing machine and push closed. (Approx. weight of 2 heaped tablespoons of soda ash = 20gms).
  5. Dye the fabric on a 40ºc or 50ºc cycle ensuring a cold fill to lengthen the dyeing process.
  6. If possible extend the washing/dyeing stage to 60 minutes to ensure strong colours. This may mean using the 50ºc cycle on some machines.
  7. After dyeing and draining, give the dyed fabric a hot washing cycle (60ºc) to remove any unfixed dye.