How to Dye Cross Stitch Fabric

Cross stitch is a popular hobby that involves stitching colorful threads through fabric to create intricate designs. However, one of the challenges of cross stitch is choosing the right type of fabric. If you want your cross stitch project to look its best, it’s important to use high-quality fabric. One way to enhance your cross stitch fabric is by dyeing it yourself. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of dyeing cross stitch fabric and provide tips for achieving great results.

Choosing the Right Fabric

Before you start dyeing your cross stitch fabric, you need to choose the right type of fabric. Look for a fabric that is made from high-quality materials, such as cotton or linen, which will hold color well and be easy to work with. Avoid fabrics that are too thick or heavy, as they may be difficult to stitch through. Also, consider the weave of the fabric – look for a tight weave that will help the dye adhere better to the fabric.

Preparing Your Fabric

Once you’ve chosen your fabric, it’s time to prepare it for dyeing. Start by washing the fabric thoroughly in cold water to remove any dirt or debris. Then, air dry the fabric completely before starting the dyeing process. It’s important to pre-wash your fabric before dyeing, as this will help the dye adhere better to the fabric and prevent any discoloration.

Choosing Your Dyes

There are many different types of dyes available for dyeing cross stitch fabric, including natural dyes, synthetic dyes, and even metallic dyes. Natural dyes are made from plant-based materials and are often more environmentally friendly than synthetic dyes. However, they may not produce as vibrant colors as synthetic dyes. Synthetic dyes, on the other hand, are often brighter and more long-lasting, but may be less eco-friendly. Metallic dyes can add a sparkle to your cross stitch fabric, making it look even more special.

Dyeing Your Fabric

Now that you’ve prepared your fabric and chosen your dyes, it’s time to start the dyeing process. To dye cross stitch fabric, you’ll need a large pot, some dye, water, and a fabric dye bath bag or a piece of cheesecloth.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Fill your pot with enough water to completely submerge your fabric.
  2. Add your dye to the water and stir until it dissolves. Follow the instructions on the dye package for the recommended amount.
  3. Place your fabric dye bath bag or cheesecloth into the pot and let it soak for the recommended time, usually between 30 minutes to an hour depending on the color you want.
  4. Remove the fabric from the dye bath and rinse it thoroughly in cold water until the water runs clear.
  5. Hang your fabric up to dry completely.

Tips for Achieving Great Results

When dyeing cross stitch fabric, here are some tips to help you achieve great results:

  • Use a fabric dye bath bag or cheesecloth to ensure that the dye adheres evenly to the fabric.
  • Avoid over-dyeing your fabric, as this can cause it to become too dark and lose its vibrancy.
  • If you want to dye multiple pieces of fabric at once, make sure to rinse each piece thoroughly before moving on to the next to avoid any color bleeding.
  • Allow your fabric to dry completely before stitching with it.


Dyeing cross stitch fabric is a great way to add a personal touch to your projects and create stunning designs.