What dye do I use to dye polyester satin & what steps should I take?

Name: Jhonna



Holly Brackmann's book
The Surface Designer's Handbookir?t=dyeblog-20&l=as2&o=1&a=193149990X

includes directions for dyeing with disperse dyes


Jacquard iDye Poly allows even beginners to dye polyester at home on the stovetop
Country or region: Australia

Message: Hi, I would like to ask what dye do I use to dye polyester satin & what steps should I take? Thank you for your time. Hoping to hear from you.

This is a very important question to ask. The only dye to use for polyester satin, or any other weave of polyester, is a special type of dye called Disperse dye. Other kinds of dye will disappoint you badly by simply washing out. You cannot use any dye that works on cotton or wool, when dyeing polyester, because the fiber is chemically so very different.

There are a couple of good sources for disperse dye in Australia, though chances are you will need to mail-order your dyes from them, depending on where you live. Australian suppliers of disperse dye include Batik Oetoro in Gateshead, NSW, near Newcastle, and Kraftkolour near Melbourne, Victoria. Kraftkolour has more brands of disperse dye and also carries the dye carrier chemical needed to obtain bright or dark colors on polyester; without the dye carrier, your colors in solid-color dyeing will tend to be pale. 

In addition to Kraftkolour, some other dye suppliers, possibly including a very good local crafts store if you have one nearby, carry Jacquard "iDye Poly", which is disperse dye, and which includes a packet of the dye carrier chemical, so it is suitable for your purposes. (Do not confuse "iDye Poly" with plain "iDye", which is intended for use on natural fibers such as cotton.) When deciding when to place your order, keep in mind that Kraftkolour closes from December 20 to January 23. (For contact information for these and other dye sellers, see my page, "Sources for Dyeing Supplies Around the World".)

For solid-color dyeing, disperse dye must be applied with boiling water, and boiled for some time, so you cannot apply it in a plastic bucket, as you can with cotton dyes on cotton. Since many recipes for disperse dye call for additional chemicals that react poorly with aluminum, you will need to invest in a dyeing pot that is either made of stainless steel, or of enamel-coated steel. The pot should be large, typically five gallons in capacity; the goal is that there be enough room for the garment or yardage being dyed to move about freely, exposing all surfaces to the dyebath repeatedly. If the pot is too small, the resulting color will be splotchy, darker in some regions than in others.

I have to warn you that the dye carrier chemical has an unpleasant smell, and it is best to avoid breathing it. Even with excellent ventilation, I found it nearly unbearable to use indoors. I prefer to set up a single burner outside when using the carrier chemical to dye polyester with disperse dyes, so that the smell does not get into my house, and so that I don't have to worry about potential toxicity.

An alternative to solid-color dyeing is transfer dyeing, in which you use disperse dyes to make designs on paper, let them dry, then iron them onto the synthetic fabric. No dyeing pot is needed, and the variety of possibilities is enormous. The iron-on method does not require the dye carrier chemical to make brilliant colors, so odor and ventilation are not an issue. You can make these transfers using disperse dyes that you have mixed with water, or using special disperse dye crayons, or with pre-mixed Transprint disperse dye inks, available both from Kraftkolour and from The Thread Studio, in Perth, which sells them by mail.

For more information, see my pages, "Dyeing Polyester with Disperse Dyes", and "Iron-on Fabric Crayons for Synthetic Fibers", as well as the other questions in the "Dyeing Polyester" section of this All About Hand Dyeing Q&A blog.

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Posted: Monday - December 02, 2013 at 10:23 AM          

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