Monthly Archives: March 2004

peach polyester to light pink

Name: rhonda wildman
Message: i have some beautiful curtains and they are polyester and peach color right now i really want them to be a light pink, can you help

To go from peach to light pink would require bleaching, not dyeing. Dyeing can only darken a fabric, not lighten it. To lighten a fabric, you would have to remove or damage the dye that is in it.

Unfortunately, you cannot bleach polyester. The only color change that is possible would be to go darker, such as to a hot pink. See Dyeing Polyester with Disperse Dyes for more information on dyeing polyester.

tie-dyeing a tuxedo

Name: Matt
Message: I recently purchased a white, 100% polyster tuxedo, and I had wished to tie dye it with purple. After searching online I was led to your website for a dye that works on polyster. I was wondering if you had some detailed instructions for tie dyeing polyster? the infromation would be greatly appreciated.

Sure do, and it is MUCH more difficult than tie-dyeing cotton, but possible if you use the right polyester dye, mail-ordered from ProChem, and carefully follow the instructions. See this page:

Be sure to follow the links to ProChem. You cannot do this with ordinary dye. The task will not be easy, but the results should be worth it.

perfect! thanks for the help. I do have one more question… the lapels and the buttons have a satin covering on them, would boiling the clothing as such great temperatures damage the satin? – thanks again

I forgot one very important point – will it survive washing? You can’t dye it if it isn’t washable. Lined garments are rarely washable. Hope that doesn’t spoil everything for you.

Yes, it is possible that extended heat will mess up the lapels. No way to know in advance, and a major bummer if it happens badly. The safest method would be to dye fabric and hire someone to sew it, but what fun is that? Also, tuxedos are considerably more expensive to have sewn than, say, a simple dress would be. Anyone can sew a dress, but a lined suit requires skill.

I would love to know how well it works for you, if you go ahead with this project.

A possibly safer alternative would be fabric paint. There are some good brands which don’t feel too stiff and nasty on fabric. Dharma Trading Company carries a wide range of fabric paint. You might call them and ask which will do best on polyester.

There is also the lovely idea of iron-on designs that you make yourself with disperse-dye crayons or paint. See the info on my web page at This would be the safest of all, even for a dry-clean-only garment. You might be able to create the look of tie-dye, without its actually being tie-dye.

bleach and dye pants

Name: josh p.
Message: I am sorry to bug ya, but you seem like the tie dye master around the internet… okay here we go…: I bought some ugly pants, I like how the feel and fit… but its that dark ghetto color yuck… so first i needa bleach the color out I guess? But anyways i wanted to tie dye the jeans after i got rid of the color… and maybe, if possible have a peace sign on one of the legs.
I dont know if you can help, but any response at all would be greatly appreciated. Thankyou, peace

Are they machine washable? Are they made of cotton or another cellulose fiber, such as hemp? Does the label lack any little notice saying “DO NOT USE BLEACH”?

If so, go right ahead and bleach, carefully. Use no more than the bleach package says to, and be sure to neutralize the bleach afterwards by washing with Anti-Chlor from, or with OxyClean or another oxygen type bleach. The oxygen type bleach will stop the chlorine bleach from continuing to work and eating holes in the pants.

After the pants have been somewhat lightened – don’t expect a perfect white – go ahead and dye. DO NOT USE all purpose dye! All purpose dye works well on wool and nylon, but poorly on cotton, and it does very poorly indeed if not simmered with the clothing. Use fiber reactive dye, such as the PRO MX dye sold at . They also sell excellent tie-dye kits.

Peace signs are more challenging than other designs, and really not a beginner’s project, but see this page for suggestions:

Have fun.