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How to Dye Macrame Cord: A Comprehensive Guide

Macrame cords are often used for many DIY crafting projects and home décor because of their ease of use and that they provide a very pleasing look. Many crafters using macrame cords will dye the cords to make their craft project look aesthetic.

An aspiring crafter might ask how they can dye their cords and improve the look of their projects. This article will help give you an idea of how to dye a macrame cord. Let’s get started.

What Macrame Cord Should I Use?

If you do not have any personal preferences in mind, the cotton macrame cord is the most suitable option. The reason cotton macrame cords are recommended is that cotton is very easy to dye.

Cotton can soak up dye very easily and can maintain the hue, and as such, makes it very favorable to use. It is also efficient to use as it can be colored with less dye than other materials.

Unless you have a particular material in mind that you want to make the cords from, then cotton is the best way to go. The methods for dyeing mostly remain the same other than differences in the amount of dye used.

It is also recommended to use a white rope as it is easier to color. If you want to use colored rope, then you will need to use darker shades of dye to color it, somewhat limiting your choice.

What Type of Dye Should I Use?

You have a lot more freedom in the choice of dye, but generally, the best option is to go for store-bought RIT all-purpose dye. They are the best dye to use if you’re using cotton macrame cords. And they are cheap and come in a variety of different colors.

Another alternative is using Procyon dye. Procyon dye is a cold water dye, which is fixed chemically instead of with the help of heat. You can use them for immersive dyeing.

What Preparations Should I Take?

Before you can go about dyeing your macrame cord, there are some precautions you should keep in mind. They are:

  • If you are working on a table cover, that table with plastic to prevent any dye from being spilled and ruining it.
  • Before dyeing, make sure you wash the dye. Dye does not mix well with dust and dirt that may be present in your macrame cord. The most effective way to wash it is to place the cord in a hot water dish mixed with soap. Immerse it and then after an hour rinse it. Take it out and let it dry.
  • Make sure to wear rubber gloves during the dyeing process.

What Methods Are There for Dyeing Macrame Cords?

Several methods can be used for dyeing macrame cords. Generally, all of them will provide suitable results and differ with what dye they work best with. Some of the methods are:

Stove-Top Method

This method requires a stove big enough so that you can fully immerse the cords in it and move it around. It generally works best with RIT all-purpose dye since it uses hot water. The steps are:

  • Fill the stove with water.
  • Begin heating the water. Make sure it does not reach the boiling point. When it starts simmering, add the dye or combination of dyes to get your desired color.
  • To make sure that the dye is maintained, add a cup of salt to the mixture.
  • Slowly drop the macrame cord into the stove and immerse it using a wooden spoon.
  • Use the wooden spoon to mix the dye with the cord and let it remain there for 10 minutes.
  • Finally, take the cord out and rinse it with some cold water and let it dry on a clothesline.

Bucket or Bin Method

This method utilizes cold dyes, and as such, Procyon dyes are used for this. You will also need to use a large bucket or bin. This method can be used to color a larger amount of macrame cords than the previous method but takes longer. The steps are:

  • Prepare a bucket with a large amount of cold water. Make sure it is enough to immerse the cords completely.
  • Add the required dye to the cold water.
  • Add salt to help maintain the color.
  • Finally, slowly immerse the macrame cords you want to color.
  • You will need to continuously stir the mixture with a wooden spoon. On average, this method takes 40 minutes for the cords to be suitably dyed. If you want a darker shade, then it is recommended to wait an hour.
  • After the cords have been dyed, take them out and rinse them with cold water.
  • Leave them to dry.

Washing Machine Method

This method utilizes hot water, and so you will need to use RIT dyes. It is a very easy-to-use method, but one should be aware that residue dye in the washing machine might discolor your favorite t-shirts or clothes. So after dyeing your cords, make sure to remove the dye from the wheel. The steps are:

  • Fill the washer with water and set the heat to the highest setting.
  • Add the required dye to the washer.
  • Add the macrame cords to the washer and close the washing machine.
  • Let the machine run for the full wash cycle.
  • Remove the cords and let them dry.
  • Clean your washing machine to prevent the residue dye from staining your clothes.


Dyeing macrame cords are easier than you might think. Hopefully, this article has convinced you and encouraged you to make a more vibrant home décor.

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