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Has any one used this on a gourd? If so could you tell me what you did to apply it? All the bottle says is add to a washing machine with a cup of salt and it will color 2 lbs. of fabric. I tryed brushing some on straight from the bottle (color:tan) and it realy did not do much just made the gourd look like it had been brush with some water.

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Vickie, I may be wrong, but I don't think the Rit dye will work. It needs to soak into a porous material. Gourds are not porous. Now if you remove the outter skin, maybe then it would soak in--probably too much. I've only used the Rit dye to dye pine needles.
I've dyed several gourds with Rit fabric dye. I used a large ice cream container, mixed warm water and the dye and let a thick gourd soak for several hours - as if I was soaking the gourd to clean it. It does quite well, although the color isn't going to be vibrant as if you used leather dye or inks or what have you. But it does work and you may want to experiment with it if you have the dye on hand already. Good luck!

I have used rit dye on many gourds all successfully.  I heat the water on my outside grill side burner in a big pot, I get it close to the boiling point & then put my gourd in.  I  use an old dish towel & wooden spoon to help keep the gourd down & covered, in no time I have a beautiful dyed gourd inside & out.  This is a great way to dye gourd that you make into pumpkins for the fall.  To keep from fading I then add one coat of orange acrylic dye over the rit dyed gourd, now it will not fade or loose its color. I have tested it in the sun for months.  I've also used this process for gourd purses.  If you have a large glass jar  you can store your dye for months until the next time you need it without waste.  I've even left my orange dye in the pot on my grill for months before discarding it.

This is good to learn. Guess it's always worth trying something when it comes to gourds. They are so versatile.  I love this site. You can almost always find someone who has tried or experimented the same thing you might be considering. 


I'm so glad I saw this. I bought some Rit dye hoping to dye some pine needles. I didn't even think of dying gourds.  I wonder if it will work on the pine needles as well since they have a waxy surface?


Works wonderfully on the pine needles.  I do it outside in a large container on the propane fish cooker.  Mix as directed on the package and boil until the color looks right to you.  I then drain off the water and rinse my dyed pine straw in vinegar water.  This process seems to make the needles softer to the touch also..   

where can i get the orange acrylic dye  or any color?



Not sure if I am answering your question, but you can use acrylic paints from Micheals or a local craft store , leather dyes, Gourdmaster dyes (the dyes or transparent paints). I have never used rit but love the idea. After I paint my gourds, if I use leather or the gourdmaster dyes, I overlay them with some shading details with prismacolor pencils. They are a colored pencil designed for artists ..they have a more vibrant color and are waxy and easy to apply. They however, do not work well over regular craft paint acrylic because they tend to scape off the paint on the slick gourd shell. Prismacolors pencils are bought at Michaels,art stores and Dick blick online (great deals), gourdmaster (my fav) can be bought at the Welburn gourd site or at the farm. Good Luck :)


i have a ? about how to dye pine needles?



Rit dye works wonderfully on pine needles. if you have a hot plate and a nice big pot. Take the hot plate into garage ( or in my case outdoors....no garage) Bring your water to a nice rolling boil in the house then carefully carry pot out to the hot plate that you turned on when water came to boil in the house. For a bit pot you will need 2 packs or bottle s of rit dye for BLACK needles .......hahahaha, I messed up and did it all in the house. The needles were gorgeous.....wish I could have said the same for my stove....LOL ( I DID get it clean, but what a mess to clean up and a rug to throw out). As a rule I will use 2 boxes or bottles for any color to get a nice vibrant color......or 1 for a more muted color (sometimes) it does take experimentation. You will probably be putting 1/2 lb of needles in or less. Let them "steep" for an hour at least if not more.....then allow the needles to cool with the water, leaving in the water over night. You can put salt in the dye bath, you can also put a bit of vinegar in the final rinse ( all done OUT of the kitchen, trust me)

When I first started gourding well over ten years ago, I experimented with rit dye and my gourds. I got some lovely colors,, but the gourd has to be cleaned first, cut like you want it and weighed down in the dye bath. Some people say gourds are weekend by soaking in water. I STILL have one that I used rit on at least ten years ago. After soaking overnight ( I didn't try to submerse in actively boiling water. I had a 5 gal pail, poured boiling hot water into it, added dye, mixed really well and submersed gourd in water (weighted down) overnight. After is was dyed and fully dried, I dripped bleach down the gourd and got the coolest effects. then I thoroughly cleaned the bleach off after it dried. Ritt dye is fun.......and makes for the prettiest pine needles, and rafia and sea grass and and.......LOL  I now use inks on my gourds. It's much faster and so many thing you can do with them, whether memories water based inks or rangers' alcohol based inks. Pine needles can be inked too, but overall it's cheaper and easier to use Ritt.


Thanks for the info. I guess will need to get a hot plate. I'm so glad you shared the consequences of dying in the kitchen. Maybe I could use my outdoor grill.



ha........yeah, the consequences are nasty and time consuming.....who NEEDS THAT!!!

I recently did some sea grass and raffia the outdoor way, in a light mauve. Looks great. Ha! I almost finished the piece with the dyed seagrass, but was having problems with the stupid raffia ( just my opinion......LOL). It's really all but done. I'm just not sure I like the "tweed" look the raffia gave the coiling......so I went on to another and this pretty gourd is just sitting here waiting for me to make a big decision. :D



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