Dye your petticoat for a pop of color beneath your skirt.

How to Dye a Petticoat

by Lindsey Robinson Sanchez

Petticoats have been used for hundreds of years as undergarments to add shape and fullness to skirts. They're usually made with sheer, netting-like fabric such as crinoline, tulle or sometimes chiffon, and they often come in white. If you want a pretty pop of color to go with your shapely petticoat silhouette, you can dye your petticoat at home and let it peek out from under your dress or skirt. Dyeing it yourself will give it a custom shade and will add a personal touch to your look.

Bucket or Sink Method

Wash and rinse your petticoat. Check the fabric tag for wash directions. Washing beforehand will help the dye absorb more evenly. Do not dry the petticoat before dyeing.

Wear rubber gloves and mix the dye in your bucket or sink according to the dye directions. Mix well with a paint stirrer and test the color on your scrap. Your scrap should be the same color as your petticoat before dyeing. Add more water or dye as necessary to reach your desired color saturation.

Submerge the petticoat in the dye. Mix, turn and agitate the petticoat while wearing gloves for 20 to 30 minutes to ensure even coloring.

Remove your petticoat from the wash and rinse in cool water until it runs clear. You can perform this step in a sink or shower. Be sure to thoroughly rinse and clean your sink or shower immediately afterward to avoid dye stains.

Hang your petticoat to dry. The color will appear darker when the fabric is wet and will gradually lighten as it dries.

Washing Machine Method

Wash and rinse your petticoat according to the fabric indications. Put on rubber gloves, set the machine to a high-power wash (not delicate) cycle, select hot water and add your dye to the machine according to the package directions. Place your petticoat in the washing machine and set for a full wash cycle.

Remove your petticoat from the machine and rinse in the sink or shower with cool water until it runs clear.

Add salt, vinegar and detergent to the machine. Put the petticoat in the wash and run a second cycle in cool water to clean away any lingering dye. Hang to dry.

Items you will need

  • Petticoat
  • Dye
  • Rubber gloves
  • 1 - 2 buckets or washing machine
  • Paint stirrer (bucket method)
  • Test fabric scrap (optional)
  • Sink or shower
  • 1 cup vinegar (machine method)
  • 1/2 cup salt (machine method)
  • Color-safe detergent (machine method)
  • Clothes hanger


  • Wear old clothes and lay down a drop cloth to avoid stains.


  • Read the safety instructions on your dye and avoid contact with skin, eyes and mouth.

About the Author

Lindsey Robinson Sanchez, from Bessemer, Ala., has written for the "Troy Messenger," "The Alabama Baptist" and "The Gainesville Times," where her work was featured on the AP wire. She has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida. She writes style, beauty, fitness, travel and culture.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images