How to Dye Sisal Rope

April 4, 2015Allison Murray
Need to dye sisal rope for a custom look? It's actually pretty easy!

Need to dye sisal rope for a custom look? It's actually pretty easy!

So I’ve got a project that I’ll be sharing with you soon enough that I am super excited about, But today I’m going to show you a super basic  thing you can do to really customize the look of any projects you have with sisal rope. Dye it.

Now this is pretty easy and you can really stumble through with it and get on just fine, but I did learn a few things that might help you out a bit. Yeah, this isn’t rocket science but if it helps somebody than it was worth it!

For this project you will need:

  • Liquid dye
  • Bucket
  • Sisal Rope <— I used this exact rope because the lighter colors take dyed colors better.
  • Glue or rubber band (not shown)

Before we get going with this one thing I didn’t realize was just how much this sucker was going to fray once it got wet. It makes sense if you think about it but I just didn’t. Before starting I would highly advise gluing the ends of your rope and allow it to dry (hot glue will dry wicked fast). Another option would be to secure the ends with a rubber band, like on the end of a braid. I didn’t do anything like this and I lost a foot of my rope.

Need to dye sisal rope for a custom look? It's actually pretty easy!

In a bucket you’ll need hot water and your liquid dye. Fill it up about 1/2 to 3/4 full so that you it doesn’t overflow on you.

Start to coil in your rope in the direction it was spooled. It’s actually really easy because it’s what the rope wants to do anyway. Doing it this way is going to help prevent knots when you’re done.

If you need more dye to cover the rope when all is said and done, add more hot water to cover.

Need to dye sisal rope for a custom look? It's actually pretty easy!

Allow your rope to sit for as long as it takes to get a few shades darker color you’re going after. I wanted my rope to be pretty dark so I left mine in for a good 6 hours.

When you get the color you’re going after, carefully pour out your dye and allow your rope to fall out. If you have tall gloves you can also reach in and pull the bundle out. Rinse, rotating the bundle around occasionally, until the water runs clear. This step will take some time.

Need to dye sisal rope for a custom look? It's actually pretty easy!

Tossed on the hot concrete of the driveway, my rope dried in about 2 hours. Remember that the color will lighten as it dries as you can see here. This is also where your rinsing skills are going to pay off… unless you dig abstract art on your driveway!

Comments (5)

  • Elena aka. Midsommarflicka

    April 13, 2015 at 9:28 AM

    Oooh… I desperately want to make one of these rugs, where the rope get’s layed in a spiral and then sewn together. And it might be fun to dye the rope before I sew it!
    Gonna have to think about it and search for some dye. Ths rug won’t be happen before I move anyway, so there’s still time…

    1. Allison Murray

      April 13, 2015 at 10:05 AM

      I definitely want to see that rug. Sounds awesome!

      1. Alys

        March 2, 2020 at 9:55 AM

        Ty for your post. Yes it helped!

  • Amy Borland

    May 22, 2020 at 8:15 PM

    Any other dye brand recommendations? No Tulip nearby. Is RIT liquid basically the same? TY!❤️

    1. Allison Murray

      May 25, 2020 at 12:46 PM

      RIT will also work! Best of luck!

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