tie dyeing converse shoes

Name: Aimee
Message: I am in the process of tie dying converse shoes. I have already practiced w the knock off brand and by using a tie dye 'kit' (kits cost way too much money for multiple pairs of shoes). They turned out nice, however since I am going to possibly tie dying quite a bit of shoes- I am planning on using the procion mx dye. (I just ordered some)--- My question pertains to the Soda Ash--- for clothes I understand you have to soak them, but what about with shoes? Do you soak the shoes also? And then what- proceed w the regular instructions? Thanks. 


Procion MX Fiber Reactive Cold Water Dye
Procion MX
Fiber Reactive
Cold Water Dye

Soda Ash

Find Craft Supplies at MisterArt.com
Jacquard Urea 1 lb.

Jacquard Urea

Urea attracts moisture from the air, keeping the fiber damp longer allowing a greater reaction time for the dye. Add to Procion dye for super intense color.

Are they made of cotton canvas? You should presoak them in soda ash exactly as you would for tie-dyeing.

Here are instructions for dyeing canvas shoes that I originally posted in the Dye Forum on February 7, 2007:
  1. Test your shoes by dropping a few drops of water on them. If the water beads up, don't dye them. If the water soaks in, they're fine, as long as they are made of a natural fiber. Get some cotton or linen or hemp shoes that do not resist water. If the insoles remove easily, remove them until after you are finished dyeing. Same with the laces. Buy cotton laces from Dharma if you want to dye them; your shoes probably came with synthetic laces that will not dye.
  2. Buy some fiber reactive dye, such as Procion MX dye. Do not use all-purpose dye, such as Rit brand dye, because it must be applied in hot water which will damage your shoes. You can mail-order your dye from any of the companies listed on my Sources for Dyeing Supplies page, or you can get a Jacquard or Tulip brand tie-dye kit. Do not get a Rit brand tie-dye kit, which contains hot water dyes.
  3. Buy soda ash. (A good tie-dye kit will include this.)
  4. Mix soda ash with water, one cup per gallon, in a plastic bucket.
  5. Soak shoes in soda ash water for twenty minutes. Make sure they are thoroughly soaked.
  6. Mix Procion MX dye in water, two to four teaspoons per cup. Add urea, if you have it, one tablespoon per cup. Place in squirt bottles, or place them in plastic cups and use a brush.
  7. Remove shoes from soda ash water and let excess water drip off. It's okay to let them dry, fully or partially, as long as you do not rinse out the soda ash.
  8. Apply Procion MX dye. It's best to place the colors in rainbow order. Don't place red next to green, or yellow next to purple, or orange next to blue, unless you want muddy brown colors. Make the shoes darker than you want, as the dye will be lighter in color after washing and drying.
  9. Leave the shoes in a warm place (70°F or above) overnight, for the dye to react with the fabric in the shoes. If you need to move them, such as to bring them inside where it's warm, you can wrap them in plastic wrap or pop them into plastic bags first.
  10. The next day, rinse the excess dye out, using first cool water, then warm water. Hot water works best to remove excess dye, but be careful not to melt the glue holding the shoes together.
  11. Allow the shoes to dry.
  12. Wear them.

If you have shoes that are made of a synthetic material, instead of cotton, linen, or hemp, you will have to use fabric paint instead of dye.

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Posted: Thursday - February 28, 2008 at 07:48 AM          

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