Daily Archives: March 7, 2004

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:

http://www.pburch.net/dyeing/dispersedye.shtml

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 http://www.pburch.net/dyeing/dispersedye.shtml. 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.