Dyeing Canvas Sneakers


We recently collaborated with Sneakersnstuff to create a #createathome video for dyeing Converse Chuck 70’s. Here are steps to do it at home.  

What you need: 
Yamato Indigo Garment Dye Kit
2 to 3 water buckets 
A stick to mix the dye
Scrap paper
Plastic sheet, paint tarp to cover your floor and table


Remove shoelaces from the deck shoes.  

Soak the shoes in water for 15 to 30 mins. Use hot water if possible.  

Put on the latex gloves in the garment kit, mix 30 to 50 gram of Yamato Indigo with 10 to 15 liter of water (1 liter is 1.06 quarts). Stir well for 1 to 2 mins, the vat is ready.  

Skim off any bubbles from the surface of the vat with scrap paper. 

Take one shoe out of the water bucket, squeeze the water out as much as possible and dip in the indigo vat. If space allows, dip the other shoe into the bucket.  

Make sure the shoe is fully submerged in the vat and keep massaging the canvas surface. Continue for 5 mins. 

Take the shoes out of the dye bucket, squeeze out the dye liquid well, and expose to the air for 5 to 10 mins to allow the dye to oxidize. The fabric may appear green at first but will turn blue as it oxidizes. Repeat dyeing and oxidizing for 3 to 5 times for a darker blue.  

Soak the shoelaces in water, squeeze out water, and dip them in the dye vat for 5 mins. Make sure to massage them in the vat. Take them out of the vat, squeeze out dye liquid, and spread them on a tarp for oxidizing. Repeat for darker blue. 

With 30 to 50 gram of Yamato Indigo, you should be able to dye 5 or more pairs of shoes (or other garments). When the dye vat is weakened, add caustic soda and sodium hydrosulfite from the kit (1.5 to 2 g per liter of water) and stir well. The vat will come back and you will be able to dye more. 

After dyeing is complete, rinse the shoes well with water. If possible, after rinsing the shoes, throw them in a washing machine with a stainless steel drum, and run a regular washing cycle (do notadd detergent). 

Combine the bottle (100ml) of 30% vinegar in the kit with 5 to 10 liter of water. Soak the shoes for 10 mins. Rinse them in water again. 

Mix a bottle (100ml) of fixative in the kit with 5 to 10 liters of water. Soak the shoes in the fixative for 5 to 10 mins. Massage the shoes so they are submerged in the agent. Remove the shoes from the bucket, squeeze out any excess well and leave to air dry without rinsing the fixative. Shoes may take a couple of days to fully dry.  


Do not soak the canvas shoes in water too long. Rubber soles may become loosened from the canvas. 

Indigo will rub off against white socks. 

Add vinegar to the dye vat before draining them.

Enjoy indigo dyeing in the comfort of your own home!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published