Dying a Flokati for Newborn Photography

Be aware, most the photos are cell phone quality- no way was I taking my camera near water.

This last weekend I took a huge chance and dyed a flokati Lilac color. I admit, I was scared to death to dye it but shockingly it came out exactly how I wanted it. I have several colored Flokati’s, (chocolate, pink, and cream), and I really wanted Lilac. I purchased another Flokati from RugsUsa.com during their Presidents day sale (it was a $45.00 purchase for a 3×5). If you’re a newborn photographer, take advantage of their sales- they always have sales.

Supplies you will need:

  • Rite Dye (lots of colors from amazon) I used Liquid not the powder
  • Cream Colored Flokati
  • Cooking Salt
  • Large Tub (I grabbed mine from Walmart) (this isn’t the exact one that’s linked but close)
  • Stick (to stir)
  • and Gloves

First lay your Flokati flat on something clean outside. I used two photography walls I wasn’t using. Then wet it with the hose spraying downward.

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While you wet your Flokati, you need to get about 25 liters of hot tap water (which is about 26 quarts) and fill your tub with it. Pour half the hot water in, and then add one cup of your cooking salt. It will dissolve, the cooking salt holds your color. Once you have done this, pour in your Rite Dye. (I used the entire bottle of purple to achieve my lilac).

Then Gently set your Flokati in your tub. Be gentle, you don’t want to swish all this around too much, as you want the dye to spread even along your Flokati. Remember though, wool floats! So not all of your Flokati will be submerged, you will need to put your glove on and dunk it down gently. (Again be careful, hot water+wool=felt). Poke with your stirring stick as you go along.

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Depending on the color you want, is depending on how long you leave it inside the tub. I wanted lilac, so I let my flokati sit in the dye for about 5 minutes until I did a spot check on it to see what color I have and if I have achieved the look I want. Pull a corner out of the tub, and spray it with the hose to see if this is what you want. Remember though- when it’s wet it is darker!

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I didn’t have the color yet, so I let it sit for about another 4 minutes- so basically 9 minutes total is how long I let my Flokati sit. I achieved my lilac color, and I knew that once it dried it would be lighter as well. Take your Flokati out, and lay it flat back on the surface you used. And spray downward towards the edge of the Flokati, you can use your hand as a squeegee to get the water and dye out. Keep doing this until the water is roughly clear. It’s okay to have a little dye run out, but the majority of it needs to be sprayed out. This took me about 15 minutes.

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Once you get the majority of the dye out and the water is running clear. You need to set your Flokati on something so you can finish this process with a wash. I took both my boards that my Flokati is laying on, and made a T out of them, then laid the Flokati across.

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You are going to have color leak out, but mildly. And you WILL have a lot of wool shed. Wool sheds no mater what you do. To wash it (and you can use this method too when you wash your Flokati’s), take wool washing detergent or gentle laundry detergent and mix it with about 2 liters of water. Suds it up in the bucket, and gently pour all over the flokati. Use your hands and run them gently on the flokati, soaping up the Flokati and also spraying it at the same time. Make sure you get all the soap out of it. You will have excess dye run out, try and get as much as you can out of the Flokati.

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Allow it to dry, it took mine about 4 hours total to mostly dry then I grabbed it from outside and put it over my shower curtain for another 2 hours. Here are the final results. (inspiration here)


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