types of dye to use for dyeing Cordura nylon motorcycle clothing

Name: Dennis

Message: Greetings.  I work for a motorcycle clothing company.  We make all our own textile clothing.  I often get customers wanting to dye their older faded clothing.  Our material is 500 weight Denier Courdra.  I am not sure what type of dyes will work best.  I plan to try myself by dying a hi-viz yellow jacket to Olive Drab. My jacket is old and if I mess up I am not worried.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  The easier the better.
Please take a look at our website.   www.aerostich.com
Thank you in advance for any help you can give me to pass on the our customers.

If the Cordura nylon has not been treated with a surface finish such as Teflon, a stain-resistant finish, or any sort of water-repellent finish, then it should be easy to dye. Unfortunately, it is common for nylon to be treated with a water-repellent finish, which will repel dye, as well, preventing good dyeing. If water spilled on the fabric beads up, it will not dye well, but if it soaks in pretty quickly, chances are good that the nylon will be easy to dye. See my page "How to dye nylon or polyamide".

It's important to change only from lighter colors to darker ones, because dye is transparent and will not obscure the original color. Changing a bright yellow to olive drab should be very possible. In fact, overdyeing the yellow with black will often have this effect, since many black dyes are actually very dark navy blues. You will probably want to try a dark navy blue, I believe, in your case.

The methods used for acid dyes varies according to manufacturer's instructions, but they all involve heating the garment in a large cooking pot (which should not be used for food) with enough water that the garment can move freely when stirred. You cannot dye nylon in cold water. Heat the dyebath gradually to 205°F, just below boiling. The manufacturers of Tintex® High Temp all-purpose dye recommend the use of 1 cup (250 ml) of white vinegar per 10 liters of water when dyeing wool, silk, or nylon; do the same for any brand of all-purpose dye you use, but if you buy a better dye by mail-order, instead follow the instructions provided specifically for the line of dyes you purchase.

There are many different acid dyes. Tintex fabric dye Rit Liquid All-Purpose dye works on nylon (See "About Acid Dyes".) Some are better for getting a smooth solid level color, but are not very resistant to fading in the laundry; these are called leveling acid dyes, or strong acid dyes. The acid dyes that are found in the mixture of dyes in all-purpose dyes, such as Rit® All Purpose Tint and Dye, or Tintex® Easy Fabric dye, are this type of dye. These all-purpose dyes are convenient to find in a local store, but they often do not perform as well as other acid dyes. They are also rather expensive in that each box will dye only four to eight ounces of fabric; a heavy jacket may weigh a couple of pounds and require a number of boxes of dye. For dark colors or black, you will probably use at least twice as much dye.

The very most washfast of acid dyes are the premetalized dyes found in the Lanaset series of dyes, which you will have to buy by mail-order. These are also among the more expensive dyes, costing almost as much as the little boxes of Rit dye, but their results are excellent. The very best black dye for nylon is the Lanaset Jet Black; it resists running in the laundry even when washed in hot water.
Jacquard Acid Dyes can be used on nylon
Other excellent dyes for nylon are mail-order dyes such as PRO Chemical & Dye's Washfast Acid Dyes. Not all of the dyes in this line are particularly wash-proof, but they are certainly better than the leveling acid dyes such as you find in Rit. They are fine if you wash clothing dyed with them in cool water only, after sorting by color (as well as when dry-cleaned, of course.) They are among the most economical dyes you can find anywhere for dyeing nylon. If you will be dyeing more than one item, you can buy larger jars for significant price savings. Many different colors are available in this dye line. Another line of acid dye is Jacquard Acid Dye.

(Please help support this web site. Thank you.)

Posted: Friday - November 09, 2007 at 10:18 AM          

Follow this blog on twitter here.

Home Page ]   [ Hand Dyeing Top ]   [ Gallery Top ]   [ How to Dye ]   [ How to Tie Dye ]   [ How to Batik ]   [ Low Water Immersion Dyeing ]   [ Dip Dyeing ]   [ More Ideas ]   [ About Dyes ]   [ Sources for Supplies ]   [ Dyeing and  Fabric Painting Books ]   [ Links to other Galleries ]   [ Links to other informative sites ] [ Groups ] [ FAQs ]   [ Find a custom dyer ]   [ search ]   [ contact me ]  

© 1999-2011 Paula E. Burch, Ph.D. all rights reserved