finding a grey dye for polyester/spandex blend shirts

Name: Andrew
Message: I have 3 white long sleeve 86% polyester/ 14% spandex shirts. After almost giving up on dyeing them I have found your site. I know I will be using the disperse dye method but I haven't been able to find a gray dye on the links you've posted. Is this color not possible to create? Thank you.

I'm afraid that you should not even try to dye polyester/spandex-blend garments. Polyester cannot be dyed except by boiling it for an hour with disperse dye, along with a toxic carrier chemical for bright or intense colors. However, spandex, which is a thermoelastic polyurethane, would be badly damaged by boiling. This fiber combination is just not a good prospect for dyeing. Other polyester fabrics can be decorated by ironing on transfers you create with disperse dye, but polyester/spandex cannot, because it should not be subjected to the heat of an iron on any but a cool setting.

If you have a 100% polyester fabric, and a non-aluminum cooking pot to boil the dyebath in (which you will not use for food ever again!), you can then use disperse dyes. Aljo Dye sells a black disperse dye which will produce grey if used at a lower concentration. They also sell a pearl grey which is more neutral in color. For contact information, look for their entry in the North America section of my Sources for Dyeing Supplies page.

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Posted: Thursday - October 06, 2005 at 05:07 AM          

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