Guidance Notes for Sofa Cover Dyeing
Colours: We do not limit you to a colour chart so choose any shade and our dyer will match it as closely as possible for no extra charge. We prefer a solid colour fabric swatch to match to but can cope with paint charts or whatever you have that is the shade you like. The most difficult to match to is a tiny piece of glossy paper so please try to avoid this if possible. Also pile fabrics such as velvet must be avoided as colour samples. These can look different depending of the viewing angle. Tweeds and other mixtures cannot be used for colour samples. If you cannot find a solid shade in fabric then paint charts are the next best thing. It may be possible to strip the existing colour and dye to a lighter shade. This can be tested in our lab if you can find a small piece of fabric. The test is also useful to be sure of the fibre content but it cannot determine that the items are suitable in all respects. Postage stamp size would suffice and nothing larger than we can fit in a lab pot about the size of a teacup. There is sometimes a spare piece of fabric near the makers label. Even when a shade strips – reduces would be a more accurate description - it leaves a tint of the original, it would be too much to ask to have your darker shades reduced to very pale shades – cream for example. Neutrals like biscuit shades are more likely to be achieved.
Fabric: Your fabrics are most suitable if they are made of cotton or linen. Wool or acrylic will not be suitable. Mixtures of cotton/polyester may be able to be dyed but with limitations such as the depth of shade achievable as we would dye only the cotton content. Polyester needs to be dyed at very high temperatures and the increased risks associated with this make it inadvisable to dye polyester sofa covers. It is important we know the fibre content and if you are unsure then send us a small piece beforehand, even a sliver to test. If your covers were made from more than one batch of cloth the different batches may accept dye differently and some panels may appear darker or lighter when dyed. This is rare but possible. Manufacturers should not use different batches of cloth within one product but sometimes they do and there is no practical way of knowing beforehand. Our test on a single small piece cannot determine if all the components of the covers were made from the same batch. If you are having covers made always insist that only one batch of cloth will be used.
Fire retardant: If your fabric has been treated with a fire retardant or other special finish it may limit what can be achieved. Testing a small piece may be helpful but cannot guarantee a desired result on the full set.
Construction of fabric: Your fabric should be a solid colour and any patterns should be woven in as part of the construction. Printed patterns will reject the dye and are unsuitable. Your fabrics should be in sound condition including the seams; all fabric edges must be overlocked, as any raw edges will fray. Any tears or frays may become worse in the process. Please repair your fabrics before sending them to us. Dyeing one-off domestic items is different from dyeing commercial batches of new products. Domestic items can be of variable age, quality of fabric and we cannot know what previous treatments they have been subjected to. It is not normally possible to tell if any chemical treatment or light damage has severely weakened the fabric. Badly faded areas may accept new dye differently and may not give a completely level result although it should be substantially better than the faded original. If your fabrics appear sound the risk is generally very small but you should be aware of it. Please refer to our Know your fabrics page for more detail about different fabric types. Fabrics with metal attachments other than zippers may be unsuitable. Sewing threads and zip tapes are often made of polyester and are likely to remain the original shade. These are often not visible in use but sometimes the sewing thread can be seen on hems for example. If you have much exposed sewing thread we suggest you try to choose a new shade which is not too great a contrast from the original.
Shrinkage: It is possible there may be some shrinkage depending on the fabric type. Our process is designed to minimise the risk but there is no test we can make to assess the risk beforehand. The risk may be greater if your covers are labelled dry clean only or have never been washed. 100% cotton or linen covers extremely rarely shrink too much to be used happily in the new colour. See our money back guarantee.
Preparation: You do not need to clean your fabrics before sending them to us. Some fading or stains are not usually a problem although we cannot guarantee they will be entirely eliminated. We clean your fabrics and strip the original shade as part of our preparation for dyeing. In a small number of cases the standard strip process is unable to remove enough of the old dye to achieve the new shade. We then have the option to carry out a special strip process at an additional cost but this is optional and we would discuss it with you beforehand.
New or unused covers: We advise you to fit new covers to check they are the correct size before sending them in for dyeing. It has been known for the retailer to supply the wrong size covers as spares or replacements.
Our dyer: Is one of the most experienced in the UK and is a member of The Society of Dyers and Colourists. He will examine your fabrics when they arrive and if he feels they are unsuitable for treatment we will tell you but it is not possible to be absolutely certain that any item will be trouble free. We will do our utmost to ensure you are happy with our work and we accept your instructions at your risk. You are welcome to visit our works, just call us beforehand.
Carriage: You can easily arrange collection by our courier on our "How to send" page or call us and we will do it for you. Also Parcel Force will collect from you – book online www.parcelforce.com. Guaranteed 48 hours is their best price. You can also use parcel post from the Post Office which may be cheaper but much less secure. We use a courier to return your fabrics.
Payment: You do not need to send any payment with your order, as we will contact you when the work is complete to arrange payment and delivery. We accept credit/debit cards.
Order Form: Please click here to download our order form and send it to us with your fabrics and please remember to enclose a sample of the new shade.
Queries: We have done our best to outline the potential pitfalls but there may be others we have not thought of. Please be assured that problems with dyeing sofa covers are very rare. Please feel free to contact us if you have any concerns or queries. Please see our "contact us" page.
If you have read this page, the "Know your fabrics" page and the prices page you have seen all of the essential information.
We are happy to send you an information pack by post if you prefer. Please see our "contact us" page to request a pack by email. However all of the information is now on our website and by clicking the link below you can download an order form to send in with your fabrics. Please check you have also read the KNOW YOUR FABRICS page.