How do I 'lock-in' the Rit Dye?


Well-Known Hunter
Now that I've dyed the girth, what's the best way to make sure the colors don't wear off onto other parts of the costume? I started to rinse the girth in the sink, but noticed some of the dye running down the drain!

Is there a way to seal the color? I don't want a red stripe around my codpiece...
Add some salt, it will lock in the dye.

If you're still not satisfied w/ Rit dye, try Procion Dye. It's much, much stronger. It reccomends soda ash to set the dye.

I've never had problems w/ dye bleeding w/ Procion, but lots of problems w/ Rit...
Keep rinsing in cold water until it runs clear. What is going down the drain is simply residual dye that didn't get absorbed. After you've rinsed it clear and dried it, a couple-three washings will take care of any bleeding later on. This is why dying to a darker shade is recommended, to ensure that after washing etc. the desired shade is acheived.

Yes, adding salt during the dying process helps alot.

I also use a couple tablespoons of white vinegar as well sometimes. It depends on the material being dyed.
Hehe...all that advice is fine and good, but my question...

Now that I've FINISHED with the dye process, is there any way to lock in the dye? I suppose I could always re-dye it again, after this weekend (parade).

Thanks for the info, though. I'll remember all that for next time. :)
Hmmm.....I guess I misunderstood your first post. Why does it need "locking in"?
Is it turning white again? Does the rinse or wash water continue to run with color? Did you do what I offered as solutions in my first post?

Modern dyes need no "locking in" process. They are designed with a "mordant" or "fixer" already in the solution. If you followed the directions on the package, then the result should be fine. If not, redye.

If your fabric seems to not be "taking" the color, perhaps it is of a synthetic material that resists the effects of dying.
I haven't rinsed the girth (mohair) completely. I just washed the dye off the buckles prior to sewing the webbing on, and noticed my semi-bloody sink. I'll rinse it today and see what color I lose...

Were you ever able to 'lock-in' the Rit Dye? I have rinsed and rinsed my girth, but I still get maroon stains on my hands and rags.

I eventually gave up on the dye job, and found a girth belt that was already maroon. If he's still around, I'd talk to E2K13, as he was the Girth King for awhile. He may know a better way of locking in the color.
batninja said:
I'd talk to E2K13, as he was the Girth King for awhile. He may know a better way of locking in the color.

I too got my latest from Ed but he's basically disappeared from the board with several people's money (including some of mine). I'd seek an alternate route for the girths. If they don't take dye then just spraypaint them and then seal them.... worked on my last belt for several years until I got one of Ed's.
Unfortunately, all you can do is rinse the hell out of it, and redye it if it loses color. You're supposed to take the steps to color-fast the item in the dye bath. Since the mohair is essentially wool, salt isn't the way to go. Wool requires an acidic dye bath to lock in the color. The best dye for this would be an acid dye. You can also add vinegar to the rit dye bath. This will help a little, but many rit colors just don't get very vivid. The procion works well tho. has all the dye types you'll ever need.
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