How To Dye Fabric Shoes

American Duchess dyeable satin shoes are specifically engineered to yield the best, most consistent results when custom-coloring. We've searched high and low for the best dyeable satin fabric in the world, to make it easier than ever to completely customize your historical footwear.

When customizing your satin shoes, we firstly recommend having your footwear professionally dyed, particularly if you would like to match a certain color. Your local shoe repair shop will likely have this service, or you may wish to try DyeMyShoes.com.  

If you intend to dye your shoes yourself, we recommend International Fabric Shoe Dye, as it consistently produces excellent results. International Fabric Shoe Dye is available in 21 basic colors, and can be mixed for infinite variety. International Fabric Shoe Dyes can be lightened or darkened using International Fabric Universal Lightener or Toning Black, and can be mixed to create a matte finish on satin shoes by using International Fabric Dye Easy Matte. The 21 basic colors can be applied singularly, with just a paintbrush or dauber, but mixing custom colors takes practice and experimentation. If you are nervous about achieving your desired color, leave the dyeing to a professional.
 

How much dye will I need?

1 oz. pot is usually enough to dye our Bronte, Dunmore, and Pompadour styles. Most dyeable shoes will require 1oz. Fabric boots, and canvas shoes will usually require about 3oz of dye.
 

Dyeing Procedure With International Fabric Shoe Dyes

1. Test the color on a swatch of the same fabric.  If your color needs adjustment, mix with International Universal Lightener or International Mixing Black until you achieve the desired result. Do not mix dyes with with water to lighten!

2. Clean any marks, cement, or stains from both of your shoes. Remove laces, ribbons, etc. 

3. Apply dye with a dauber or soft paintbrush. Begin at the back seam and try not to overlap onto the other side of the seam or heel. Begin 1/8" away from the seam, and allow the dye to seep into it. Move smoothly from the backseam to the toe, using quick, even strokes, then around the opposite side of the shoe to the back seam again. Re-dip your brush as needed. Blend as you go, to avoid dark circles from forming. Dye the high heel last, avoiding contact with the rest of the shoe.

4. Allow the shoe to air dry, keeping any objects from touching the fabric. Do not rinse.

5. If you do not plan to dye the shoes again, spray with ScotchGard Fabric Protector or Angelus Water & Stain Repellent, to protect your shoes from water spotting and reduce dirt and/or stain pickup.
 

Tips For Dyeing Satin Shoes

  • Shoes must be clean before dyeing. Stains may be removed by cleaning the shoe with International Fabric Shoe Cleaner.
  • Each type of fabric dyes differently. Always test the dye on a swatch of the same fabric from which the shoe has been made.
  • Before applying dye, test the color on the sample swatch. Lighten the color by adding International Universal Lightener, or darken the color by adding International Mixing Black, in very small amounts, testing on the sample swatch each time. For very light pastel shades we'd recommend slowly adding the dye to the International Universal Lightener instead. Allow the test to dry completely to determine the final color.
  • Light affects color, particularly sunlight. Match your color using the light source in which the shoes will be worn.
  • Apply the dye to your shoes in one sitting, finishing the job completely, without interruption. Work quickly and evenly without over-saturating the fabric.
     

Tips For Dyeing Cotton Shoes

  • Shoes must be clean before dyeing. Stains may be removed by cleaning the shoe with International Fabric Shoe Cleaner.
  • Each type of fabric dyes differently. Always test the dye on a swatch of the same fabric from which the shoe has been made.
  • Cotton shoes are very absorbent, and will take more dye than satin. One 1 oz. pot is enough to dye one pair of Bronte, Dunmore, Pompadour or slipper-like shoes; Three 1 oz. pots will be needed for fabric boots.
  • Before applying dye, test the color on the sample swatch. Lighten the color by adding International Universal Lightener, or darken the color by adding International Mixing Black, in very small amounts, testing on the sample swatch each time. For very light pastel shades we'd recommend slowly adding the dye to the International Universal Lightener instead. Allow the test to dry completely to determine the final color.
  • Light affects color, particularly sunlight. Match your color using the light source in which the shoes will be worn.
  • Apply the dye to your shoes in one sitting, finishing the job completely, without interruption. Work quickly and evenly without over-saturating the fabric.
     

International Fabric Shoe Dye products are available in our Accessories section.

Our dyeable shoes have not been tested with RIT, iDye, Dylon, or Jacquard dyes. If you wish to use these or other types of fabric dye, first test on the swatch included with your shoes.

For more shoe care information see:

About Us

American Duchess is a small, historical, reproduction footwear company based in Reno, Nevada, USA. It was born from one costumer's inability to find elegant, affordable, comfortable and historically accurate footwear. Partnering with a community of hundreds of frustrated costumers around the world, we now manufacture a growing line of beautifully hand crafted Renaissance, 18th Century, Regency, Edwardian and Victorian shoes as well as reproduction shoe buckles and silk stockings.

Contact Us

Telephone:
+1 775-238-3674
11am - 6pm PDT
Email:
info@americanduchess.com
Mailing/Returns:
920 Matley Ln, Suite 2,
Reno, NV 89502-2160, USA

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