How to Dye a Swimsuit

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Learn how to dye a swimsuit and see the three swimsuits I have dyed. This quick change is a great way to get a “new” swimming suit.

I love sewing and thrifting swimsuits, so sometimes I want to change the color of the fabric because I don’t have exactly what I want. I have dyed three different swimsuits with varying results, and I’ll take you through the whole process.

How to Dye a Swimsuit

The First Swimsuit I Dyed

I made this swimsuit and I loved it, but I thought it blended in to much with my skin. I’ve never dyed a synthetic fabric before so I thought I’d learn how to dye a swimsuit with this swimsuit.

swimsuit before
swimsuit before

I used a tiny bit of RIT dye in navy that I had left and dyed it in the washing machine. I just do the hottest setting for the longest amount of time agitating in the machine. It came out a fantastic light purple.

dyed swimsuit

The color sucked in way better than I could have imagined, and I didn’t add anything extra to the water like salt or vinegar. I’m sure it’ll fade as I wash and wear it like RIT dye tends to do. Make sure to clean your washing machine with bleach after to keep the dye from spreading!

I love that you can still faintly see the original fabric print. I wish it would have been a lighter purple. I seem to always put in too much dye, and I need to learn to stop doing that!

dyed swimsuit

I only used a little bit of dye, but it’s hard to know what dye will do. I’m happy with the result, and I’ll wear it a lot more often now that it looks like I’m wearing something.

dyed swimsuit

What Dye to Use

Swimsuits are made out of synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon, and spandex, so you need to use a dye specifically for those types. They are much harder to dye, so you never quite know what you’ll get. You’ll never get a true black or dark blue, so go for a medium to light color so that you’ll be happier with your result.

Pay attention to the directions on the dye you use to do it correctly. I have dyed swimsuits in a washing machine and felt like it was much harder than dyeing in a pot on the stove.

How to Dye a Swimsuit

How to Dye a Swimsuit

The colorblocked swimsuit dyed way better than the peach swimsuit. You never quite know how fabric will take a dye so you might have to dye it again to get a darker color.

How to Dye a Swimsuit


  • Swimsuit
  • Synthetic dye in desired color
  • Large stainless steel pot
  • Rubber gloves
rit synthetic dye

Prewash the swimsuit. This will remove anything that could interfere with the dyeing.

Fill the pot with enough water to cover the swimsuit. Heat it up to boiling and then turn it down to simmer.

Add the dye according to the package directions.

Add the swimsuit to the pot. Stir the swimsuit gently for 30 minutes.

Remove the swimsuit from the dye bath. Rinse the swimsuit pieces under cold water until the water runs clear.

Squeeze out the excess water.

Hang the swimsuit to dry or dry it in a dryer.

Would you ever dye a swimsuit?

swimsuit to dye
How to Dye a Swimsuit
swimsuit to dye
How to Dye a Swimsuit

More Projects You Might Like

How to Dye a Swimsuit

If you make something using this sewing project, I’d love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and tag me!

heather sewing

I believe small sewing moments can create great joy. Find your own “right” way to sew. -Heather

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Such a great idea! I absolutely hate my bright pink bathing suit, and am seriously considering this.