Dyeing in Stardew Valley: How to Elevate your Wardrobe

Got yourself a brand new T-Shirt, but it doesn’t match your pants? Want to sync your look to the colour of your new boots? Read on to learn how to dye your clothing in Stardew Valley!

An image of the farmer standing next to several dye pots.
So many colours to choose from…

How to Unlock dyeing

To unlock the option to dye your clothing, you first need to acquire some Cloth. Cloth is an Artisan Good made by placing a piece of Wool on a Loom and waiting four hours. There are several ways you can find Wool or Cloth, and we’ll go into them all in the section below!

Emily will visit you the morning after you find or craft a piece of Cloth. She’ll tell you you can use Cloth to tailor clothing if you’ve got access to a sewing machine, and, luckily for you, she has a machine she’ll let you use. From then on, you can drop by Haley and Emily’s house and use the sewing machine to craft and dye clothes!

I sure have!

How to Get Cloth

1. Collect Wool from Sheep and Rabbits

One way to acquire Cloth is by raising animals that produce Wool. Your two options are to raise Sheep or Rabbits. Choosing to acquire Wool in this way is quite pricey, so be sure to choose a structure that you want to invest in long-term!

To buy a Sheep, you must first build a Deluxe Barn. If you have no barn at all, this endeavour will cost you 43000g, 1350 Wood and 650 Stone. That might seem like a lot, but a Deluxe Barn is actually a great investment. In addition to gaining access to Sheep, you’ll also be able to raise Pigs, which are profit-making machines. Once you’ve got your Deluxe Barn all set up, purchase a baby Sheep from Marnie for 8000 gold and wait for it to mature. A grown Sheep will produce Wool every three days if it’s happy and well-fed.

Your second option is to raise Rabbits. You first need to construct a Deluxe Barn. From scratch, this will cost 34000g, 1200 Wood and 450 Stone. A happy and well-fed Rabbit will produce Wool once every four days. Sometimes, the Rabbit may instead produce a Rabbit’s Foot, however.

Once you’ve got a unit of Wool, you’ll need to craft a Loom to make the Cloth. The crafting recipe for a Loom is acquired by reaching level seven in Farming. Once it’s unlocked, you can craft the machine with a bit of Wood, Fiber, and one Pine Tar.

Overall, this process is lengthy and expensive, but it’s a guaranteed way to get Cloth.

2. Recycle Newspapers

An easier, if less reliable, way to get Cloth is by recycling Newspapers. This method doesn’t work every time, but it’s cheap and can be done very early into the game. Recycled Newspapers will turn into a Torch 90% of the time, and Cloth 10% of the time.

For this method, you need to get to level four of Fishing so you can craft a Recycling Machine. To craft a recycling machine once you’ve got the recipe, all you need is 25 Wood, 25 Stone, and one single Iron Bar.

Next, all you need to do is get a stack of Newspapers. You can find Newspapers by fishing or digging into other people’s trash bins. Unless you’re on the Riverland Farm, it may be best to fish on your own property instead of anywhere else in Pelican Town. Generally, Trash is a lot more abundant on the farm property. For example, fishing on the Wilderness Farm yields Trash a whopping 65% of the time.

Once you’ve got both of these things, you’re all set. One single newspaper will take one in-game hour to process. If you’d like to expedite this process, you can craft several recycling machines, instead of waiting around for your one machine to be ready for your next try.

Trash can be useful after all!

3. Befriend Emily

Sometimes your friends in Pelican Town will send you gifts through the mail. If you befriend Emily, there’s a chance she’ll send you a bolt of Cloth or some Wool.

While this is technically a totally valid method, it is probably the least bit reliable. There’s no way in the game to trigger getting this gift from Emily. Moreover, Emily doesn’t only gift Cloth and Wool, and you may get unlucky and recieve a third, unrelated item.

4. Brave the Skull Cavern

There is one enemy in the Skull Cavern which drops Cloth 20% of the time – The Mummy. Mummies can be found anywhere in the Skull Cavern but they can be tough to kill. Upon dealing fatal damage to them, Mummies collapse to the ground. After a while though they begin to reform. When they collapse like this, they won’t drop any loot, because they haven’t fully died yet.

To get Cloth from Mummies, you need to make sure you kill them for good. Once you cause a Mummy to collapse, you need to place a Bomb of any kind near their bodies quickly. Once the bomb detonates, the Mummies will die permanently, and hopefully, drop you some Cloth!

This method is fairly reliable, but it does require that you already have access to the Calico Desert. If you’re trying to farm Cloth in this way, make sure to bring a supply of Cherry Bombs with you into the Cavern.

5. Barter with Exotic Traders

You can purchase Cloth or Wool from the more exotic traders in Stardew Valley.

The Desert Trader of the Calico Desert will sell you a bolt of Cloth in exchange for three Aquamarines. She will offer this trade every Wednesday.

What a steal.

The Travelling Merchant has a chance to sell Wool. You can find the Merchant in the Cindersap Forest during the day every Friday and Sunday. The merchant is also available duirng the Night Market festival on 15th, 16th and 17th of Winter.

Keep in mind, however, that the travelling merchant only sells Wool, not Cloth. You still need to craft Cloth yourself by getting yourself a Loom.

Where Can I Dye My Clothes?

Once you’ve found a piece of Cloth, Emily will visit your farm on the next morning. From then on, you can visit hers and Haley’s house and use their sewing machine and dye pots. The pair of sisters live on the southern side of Pelican Town, near the western entrance to the Cindersap Forest.

Haley and Emily’s house.

Initially, you can only dye your clothing at Haley and Emily’s house. However, there’s a way to do it at home as well if you complete Emily’s special order.

Special Orders become available during Fall of Year 1. They are long-term quests that offer unique rewards. One special order you can complete is called “Rock Rejuvenation”. To complete this quest, you need to deliver a Ruby, Topaz, Emerald, Jade, and Amethyst to Emily.

As a reward for completing this order, you will gain the Sewing Machine furniture item. You can place this in your home, and it functions the same as the sewing machine at Emily’s house.

How to Dye Your Clothes

You can dye a piece of clothing in two different ways: using Emily’s dye pots, or using a sewing machine.

Which pieces of Clothing can I dye?

Some items cannot be dyed. Hats, shirts, and pants can usually be dyed, but some have unique colour patterns that cannot be changed. Boots, on the other hand, can never be dyed. To check if an item can be dyed, hover over the item in your inventory. Dyeable items will say they can be dyed at the bottom of their description.

Dyeing Clothes with Dye Pots

The first method for dyeing your clothing is using dye pots. The dye pots are in Emily’s house to the right of the Sewing Machine.

To use the dye pots, you need to have a dyeable piece of clothing in your inventory and six items that correspond to six different colours – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Below is a short list of easy-to-get items in each colour:

  1. Red – Bait, Cherry Bomb, Coral, Sashimi
  2. Orange – Acorn, Pine Cone, Cave Carrot, Clay
  3. Yellow – Oil, Beer, Daffodil, Torch
  4. Green – Fiber, Green Algae, Seaweed, Salad
  5. Blue – Joja Cola, Broken CD, Broken Glasses, Clam
  6. Purple – Bug Meat, Refined Quartz, Sea Urchin, Iridium Ore

You must place one item of each colour in the corresponding pot, and then you’ll be prompted to click on a rainbow-coloured bottle. Clicking it sends you to the dyeing screen.

The dyeing screen functions similarly to the create-a-character screen when you start a new game. You’ll be presented with sliders for each dyeable piece of clothing you are wearing. The sliders represent the hue, saturation, and lightness of the piece in question, making it super easy to customize your colours to perfection.

Dyeing with Sewing Machine

The second method is a little bit less controlled. It requires that you place your dyeable piece of clothing in a small box on the left, and an additional item in a slot at the top right of the sewing machine screen. This second item should be of the colour you’d like your piece to be.

If you’ve got a Prismatic Shard you want to spare or a Rainbow Shell, you can place those in the dye slot of the sewing machine to more precisely choose your colours using the same sliders as with the dye pots. That way you can more accurately adjust your desired hue, saturation, and lightness sliders. Rainbow Shells can be found on the Beach during Summer, or on the Beach Farm during any season.

Colour Strength

What’s new with the sewing machine dyeing process, is the concept of dye strength. Certain items produce weaker or stronger versions of the desired colour. For example, dyeing a white shirt with a Cherry Bomb will produce a slightly pinkish shirt. Dyeing the same shirt with the stronger Cranberries, produces a stark red shirt.

If you don’t have anything that leaves a strong colour, you can also just dye your piece over and over again with a weaker colour. In the above example, it takes four Cherry Bombs to produce as vibrant a colour as one Cranberries does.

Which method is better?

Both methods are good, but have their own pros and cons.

Sewing Machines are better if you only want to alter one single piece of clothing. This is especially true if you have Rainbow Shells to use. It’s quick, efficient, and can be done from home if you have your own sewing machine.

The dye pots are only available at Emily’s house, but they will customize your entire outfit, and not just one piece like the sewing machine.

Meet the author

I'm a content writer and an avid video game player whose favourites are either chill RPGs or super competitive shooters with no in-between! If anyone is still reading this please help, Joja has trapped me in a guide-writing factory and I'm so tired of drinking Joja Cola.

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