Carhartt jackets, coats, pants, hoodies and overalls are popular choices for work wear among those who work in a variety of fields ranging from construction workers to plumbers to those who just want to look like they do. Carhartt work clothing is highly durable and long lasting making them worth every penny you spend to purchase them. Carhartt work clothing is available to both men and women in a variety of colors and styles.

Many times through use, washing and wear, Carhartt colors may fade – this will take a long time. More often, Carhartt wearers find a great bargain on work wear, but the work clothing is the wrong color or a color that you simply do not like. Many working in fields that are exposed to oil and grease prefer black Carhartt, jackets, coats and pants over browns, beiges or denim because the stains are less likely to be noticeable against the black fabric. Many who work in fields that get dirty or muddy prefer medium and dark browns because they show mud and dirt less than black or tan. Even though removing stains from Carhartt work wear is a relatively easy process, some people prefer to look neater and not have the stains so prominent. If you’ve found a great bargain, worn out the color before you wore out the fabric or simply want to change the color, you can. It is actually very easy to dye Carhartts and change the color to one you prefer.

Preparing the Carhartt Work Wear for Dyeing

Wash the Carhartt clothing according to the directions printed on the label. Treat stains and remove grease and oil. Stains, dirt, grease or oil will interrupt the dye’s ability to change the color of the fabric because grease, oil and dirt creates a barrier between the fabric and the dye. Most Carhartt labels do no advocate the use of fabric softeners, even if it is not specified on the label, do not use fabric softener.

Dry the Carhartts according to the manufacturer’s directions. If you are drying the work wear in a clothes dryer, do not use dryer sheets.

Weigh the clothing to determine the amount of dye you will need to change the color of the work wear.

Choose a fabric dye such as Rit Fabric Dye in the color of your choice. The amount of dye you will need is based on the weight of the work wear you are dyeing. Use a minimum of 1 ounce per pound. If you want the color to be darker add slightly more dye. If you are looking for a lighter color, add slightly less dye.

Cover the table, floor, countertop or whatever your work surface is with plastic sheeting or an old plastic tablecloth, thick layer of newspaper or a thick drop cloth. Protect the floor and walls around the work surface also.

Put on a shirt and pants that you don’t care about and a pair of rubber gloves.

Preparing the Dye

Fill a large pot with 3 to 4 gallons of water and turn the heat on to bring the water temperature to between 140 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a candy thermometer in the water to monitor the water temperature.

Lay the Carhartt coat, jacket, hoodie, pants, shirt or what have you in a bathtub. Turn the faucet on to hot and fill the tub to cover and thoroughly saturate the work clothing.

Turn the heat off from under the pot as soon as it reaches the appropriate temperature.

Pour the hot water into a large bucket, basin, or very clean plastic garbage pail.

Add the Rit dye to hot water in the bucket or plastic container. Stir the dye into the water until it is thoroughly blended. If you are using powdered dye, make sure the powder is completely dissolved.

Dyeing the Carhartt Work Clothing

Place the work clothing into water and dye mixture. Make sure you used an appropriate amount of water so the Carhartt clothing can move freely about the water. If the clothing is stuffed into the container without free room to move it will not accept the dye evenly.

Push the Carhartt clothing down into the water and swish it around. Use a clean broom handle or heavy clean stick. If you use something to stir such as a wood kitchen spoon, be aware the Rit dye will not only change the color of the fabric, but will also change the color of the spoon or other stirrer.

Allow the work wear to soak, while pressing it up, down and around for a minimum of 20 minutes and a maximum of 60 minutes. The soaking time will not increase the depth of color. The amount of dye you add to the water determines the depth of color. Do not use excessive amounts of dye because it will not absorb into the fabric, it will sit on top of the fabric. Fabric can only hold a certain amount of dye, so more is not necessarily better.

Take the Carhartt clothing out of the dye bath and rinse it under running water until the water runs clear. This process removes excess dye from the fabric.

Hang the Carhartt work wear on a hanger and allow the excess water to drip out of the fabric.

If the Carhartt fabric is safe for the dry, dry in the dryer when the fabric has dried to slightly damp.

Dyed Carhartt Tips

Wash dyed Carhartt work clothing in cold water to help preserve the color of the dye.

It is best to dye Carhartt work wear outdoors if possible to minimize the mess from the dyeing process.

Wipe up spills immediately to prevent staining floors, furniture or countertops with fabric dye.

Thoroughly rinse the bucket, plastic basin or garbage can to remove excess dye. The container you use for dyeing will be stained when finished.

Do not reuse the water from dyeing to dye other Carhartt clothing. Once used the dye bath will no longer be effective.

Make sure the water is hot enough when dyeing the work wear or the dye will run after washing or rub off while wearing the Carhartts.