Can You Dye Khaki Pants Black?

Recycling is one of the coolest things to do these days and one surefire way to recycle clothes is by dyeing them a different color. This way, they look almost like-new clothing.

So, if you’ve got bored with those pair of pants, or you have this beloved t-shirt with a stain that just refuses to come off, you can easily give them another go at life by dyeing them.

While a wide range of clothing items can be dyed, it is still safe to make sure that the particular item you have in mind, can actually withstand dye. Hence, many people are asking, “Can you dye khaki pants black?”

When you say khaki, you could be referring to the color: a yellowish-brown shade or you could be referring to the material: twill weaved cotton. Either way, the answer is yes, it is possible for you to dye your khaki pants black. 

How can you do this? What do you need to achieve this? What kind of dye should you look out for? Will you get a totally black color? Hey, calm down. All your questions will be answered as you keep reading. 

Important Note Before You Start Dyeing 

It is easier to achieve an all-black dyeing result if the item under consideration is white or very light in color. However, you can still get very impressive results with your khaki-colored pants and indeed khaki pants of almost any color. Before you embark on this recoloring journey, there are a few things you must note.

  1. There is a tendency for a hint of the original color to remain, especially when viewed at certain angles to the light. Using the tips and methods I propose here will ensure that you get the closest to black that you can get and that any colorful tones are negligible. However, this is subject to the kind of material your khaki trousers are made of. 
  2. Polyester materials do not dye completely. Therefore, if your khaki happens to be one of those which are not all cotton but have some polyester blended in, you need to know that this will affect the outcome. The less the polyester portion, the closer to black you’ll get.
  3. There are different dyes for different materials. Be sure to read the instructions and labels on the dye to see if it’s the best for the fabric of your trousers. 
  4. The degree of darkness you will attain also depends on the quantity of dye you use. The blackness goes in deeper if you use twice the amount of dye suitable for the purpose.
  5. The longer you allow the dye to sit, the better it penetrates the fabric. Let your khaki spend double the recommended time soaking in the dye. It can stay up to an hour or even more.
  6. Complement the black dye with a color that counters the pants’ original color. This can eliminate the hint of color in your new black pants, or at least, reduce it drastically. For instance, both brown and orange combine with blue to make black. So, in addition to a black dye, you should use some blue dye if your khaki is brown or orange in color.
  7. White vinegar and salt are helpful in enhancing color. Use salt if the material is cotton, linen or rayon. Use vinegar if it’s wool, silk, or nylon.
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How To Dye Khaki Pants Black

  • Firstly, wash your trousers in order to get rid of any coating that may not allow them to absorb the dye properly. If they’re already washed, then just dampen them by running them under or soaking them in water that is, preferably, warm. Squeeze out excess water.
  • Next, get the dyes ready- both the black dye and the one that is intended to cancel out the color of your khaki pants. For dyes in powder form, you will need to dissolve them by following the instructions given by the producers. Remember to mix twice the stated quantity of black dye, in order to get the best results. However, dyes already in liquid form are ready for use as they are. 
  • Once your dyes are set, get a plastic container. Fill it with enough hot water to completely soak your pants in. It is safe to use hot water because khaki can withstand high temperatures. 
  • Now, empty the dissolved dyes, or twice the stated volume of liquid dye, into the container of water. Mix thoroughly, using a wooden spoon. 
  • Add the khaki trousers you want to recolor to the dye solution and continue to turn until you are sure that every inch of fabric is soaked in the dye. 
  • Measure a cup full of either white vinegar or salt, depending on the specific material of your khaki. Pour this in as well and stir until the salt is well dissolved or the vinegar has gone round. Let everything sit for about an hour for proper absorption. Use the spoon to turn it at intervals. 
  • After an hour, take out the khaki and wring out the extra dye. Rinse with water until the water comes out colorless. Then, dry them by hanging them on a clothesline or on a low tumble.
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What Other Colors Can I Dye Khaki Pants?

In general, you will only achieve your intended color or something close, when you dye khaki darker than its original color.

That is, to dye khaki pants, it is best to go for colors that are darker than the color of the pants. Examples of such colors are navy blue and dark brown.

Otherwise, the original color of the trousers will still show through or you’ll end up with an unattractive and unintended color resulting from the interaction between the two colors. 

How Do I Achieve The Color Of Khaki?

As I stated earlier, khaki as a color is a yellowish-brown shade. Some say it is tan but not quite. It is also close to beige though a bit darker. Whether you’re mixing dyes or paints, you can make the khaki color through the combination of orange, blue, and white in varying proportions.

Start with a good amount of orange, then mix the blue in a little at a time until you have a brown that is dark enough. Note that the more you add blue, the darker the brown gets. When you’re satisfied with the darkness, add white gradually and mix as you watch for the shade you need. 

Best Dye For Khaki

Rit Dye is an excellent choice for dyeing your khaki pants but be sure to consider the kind of fabric your pants are made of before buying that Rit Dye. 

Most khakis are made of cotton or a blend that is more of cotton. If this is the case with your own, you need Regular Rit All-Purpose Dye. Also, use this for rayon or wool. However, if there is a significant amount of nylon or polyester, then go for Rit Dyemore for Synthetics in Graphite. 

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How To Protect Khaki From Discoloration And Stain

The khaki color is not very good at hiding stains or discolorations. Although you can renew a stained pair of khaki pants by dyeing them, I’m sure you would prefer that it doesn’t get stained in the first place. Below are tips to avoid staining or discoloring khaki.

  • Before washing, separate khaki into a pile with other light-colored clothes. This greatly reduces the risk of color transference from another clothing item to your khaki pants. 
  • Do not bleach them. Bleaching breaks down the components responsible for color, thereby robbing the clothing of color. But it will likely not be evenly done, leaving you with discolored patches. 
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals to spot clean stains as they can leave a permanent mark on that spot.
  • Use equal parts vinegar and water on stains, then spot clean before throwing the pants in the washing machine. This prevents the further spread of the stain.

Care of Dyed Khaki Pants

It is easy to take care of khaki pants that have been dyed. It is majorly about making sure the color doesn’t get lost while washing. Take note of these five things:

  1. If dyed black as is most advisable, wash only with other black clothes. Else, it may not only lose its color but also spoil the other clothes loaded with it.
  2. Use as little detergent as possible. It’ll still get your clothes clean without damaging their color. 
  3. Wash with salt and vinegar occasionally to keep the color sealed.
  4. Wash with cold water and use a gentle cycle. Hot water will make the color bleed.
  5. Keep away from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. They’ll disintegrate the dye! 

Can You Dye Khaki Pants Black – Conclusion 

You can dye your khaki pants black. How to do this, the best dye for the job, color alternatives for your dye job, and how to prevent khaki stains and discoloration, has been taken care of in this article. Also, learn how to care for your khaki after you have dyed them.

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