How do I set the dye on a black jacket?

Question; Hi, I have a men’s BLACK blazer that was recently purchased. The materials are 100% cotton for the shell, 100% cotton for the lining. The label says dry clean only. I would like to wash this as it seems that the color is coming off onto other clothes and my hands when I put them in the pocket. Would this be safe to wash on delicate cycle? Thanks.

Answer; That is not a garment I would recommend for washing.

These are the problems I see with washing this jacket:

1) you say the color is coming off onto your other clothes and your hand. What that’s telling me is the color is unstable (poorly dyed and finished) and if you wash it or even dry clean it you may lose a lot of dye resulting in a completely different looking jacket.

2) Although cotton is washable it is extremely difficult to press when it’s made into a structured garment such as a jacket.

3) The cotton can shrink just a bit; and in something as structured as a jacket it will show in the form of buckling.

Question; Thank you kindly for your response. That is quite unfortunate about the color issue. Is there anything that can be done to make the color more permanent? Or at least not come off as much? Thank you.

Answer; If it’s new my suggestion is to return it.

You can try to set the color. Results will vary but this is how you can do it.

Either in the washer or in a bucket, soak the jacket in a solution of water and vinegar. The ratio is 8 oz of vinegar to 3 gallons of water. Premix the solution before adding in the jacket. Do not agitate just let it soak for a couple of hours, then drain and extract. Keep in mind that extraction will cause wrinkles that may be difficult to remove so if it’s important to keep the jacket smooth then I suggest no extraction, remove the jacket from the solution and roll it in a towel then hang to dry. Use a old towel and caution the solution at time point will be black dye. Dryer is optional because it will cause shrinkage. Press the jacket while it’s slightly damp.

If necessary re-soak and increase the strength of the solution. Excess vinegar will leave a sour smell on the jacket. A gentle wash will take care of that problem. Excess agitation may still cause color loss.

Good luck.

Other Articles of Interest:

Techniques Used For Stain Removal And Cleaning.

Stain Removal Products and Tips


How to Care for Your Dark Color Garments

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