How do I dye polyester or acetate?

Name: Alice


Crayola Fabric Crayons

Crayola Fabric Crayons

With Crayola Fabric Crayons, you simply draw a design on non-glossy paper, then transfer it to synthetic or synthetic blend fabric by ironing the back of the paper. The colors become brilliant as they are set.

Message: How do I dye polyester or acetate?

Dyeing polyester or acetate requires the use of Disperse dyes. Neither of these fibers can be dyed with the same dyes that are used for natural fibers, such as fiber reactive or all-purpose dyes. See "Dyeing Polyester with Disperse Dyes".

In the US, you can order disperse dyes from PRO Chemical & Dye or from Aljo Dyes. For contact information for these and other dye suppliers around the world, see my page "Sources for Dyeing Supplies Around the World", and look for the word "disperse" in the short description of each vendor. 

Jacquard Products is introducing a new brand of disperse dye, called iDye Poly, but I do not yet know of a retailer that sells it.

Disperse dyes require a great deal of heat to bond to the fiber in the polyester or acetate fabric. To obtain a solid color, the dye must be boiled with the polyester or acetate in an enamel or stainless steel pot. (You should not reuse a dyeing pot for food.) Do not use an aluminum pot, because the aluminum will react with the acid of the vinegar that is used in the recipe for dyeing acetate with disperse dye, and may change the color of the dye.

You can also buy disperse dyes in the form of fabric crayons, not to be confused with the wax crayons they look just like, at most fabric or craft stores. These crayons are used by coloring a design on paper and then ironing it onto polyester, acetate, or other 100% synthetic fabrics. The crayons can be used on fabric blends, too, but the colors that result will be much less intense.

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Posted: Tuesday - April 22, 2008 at 09:59 PM          

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