The trouble with doing a bathtub-ovrrnight job can be that the dye collects in the folds and the whole effect is mottled, whereas doing it in the machine guarantees even coverage (and is quicker). If you're going to wash them out in the machine anyway, you might as well do it from the start. The covers will have a label showing max temperature (if washable), so you can proceed with suitable care.
It is very unlikely that the tread is cotton, so you need to think about whether you'll like the look of the new colour with cream stitching (I have dye-ed many clothes, towels, curtains and cushion covers over the years and the thread has never taken) machine dye is v easy to use if the chair covers fit in the machine.
Hi pluto, thanks for your help. SOrry for not replying before.
Yes, it's all cotton. I am doing both chairs a different colour so it won't matter if they end up a different shade. I think I might try them in the bath so I can leave them in all night. Have been told to rinse lightly and then soak in salty water to fix the dye, then wash in the machine. Does that sound sensible?
The things to consider are: - is it all cotton, or is there any visible stitching (if the edges are piped, that would probably be good, as the material over the piping would be cotton, too) - weight of the fabric - make sure to allow equal dye for each load, or you could end up with different shades of the colour! (I'm assuming you will have to do more than one load because of the size of your machine?) - don't go over 40C, or they might shrink!
We have two cream coloured cotton chair covers. They aren't badly stained as such just looking a little tired and grey - cream was a stupid colour really. Want to dye them. What's the best stuff to use? I have found some spray fabric dye but wondering how effective that is. A lot of machine dyes seem to require top-loaders.