Can I dye my white nylon or polyester jacket with dye from Walmart?

Name: Wendy 


Dye polyester and poly/cotton blends

Jacquard iDye

Jacquard iDye and iDye Poly

iDye Poly is disperse dye that can be used to dye polyester, nylon, and acrylic. (Note that regular iDye is a direct dye that can be used only on natural fibers such as cotton; it can be mixed with iDye Poly to dye polyester blends.)

Instawares Restaurant Suppy Superstore

Stainless Steel 10 Gallon Stock Pot with Lid

NSF Stainless Steel Stock Pot with Lid 40 qt Using dye instead of paint on polyester requires a large dyeing pot for use on the stovetop.


Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow Fabric Colors

Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow Fabric Colors

Dye-Na-Flow is a free-flowing textile paint made to simulate dye. Great on any untreated natural or synthetic fiber.

Fabric Crayons
contain iron-on
disperse dye

Jacquard Textile Colors

Jacquard Textile Colors

These versatile colors are ready for direct application with brush, stamp, squirt bottle, airbrush, or whatever. They are absolutely colorfast on both natural and synthetic fabrics.

Message: I have a white nylon or polyester winter jacket, and it keeps getting so dirty, I end up washing it every other day.  My question: is there a fabric dye that I can buy in stores such as Walmart or kmart?  Also, I just want to find a fabric dye that will dye my jacket another color.  Can you help me?

I'm afraid that dye is not going to work out. Fabric paint or transfer crayons might, though.

First, Walmart and Kmart do not sell ANY dye that will work on polyester. They are really not good sources for high-quality dye. You can do better at a crafts store, but for serious dyeing it's best to mail-order your dyeing supplies. See my page listing "Sources for Dyeing Supplies Around the World". Some people tell me they can't order online because they don't want to use a credit card, but companies such as Dharma Trading Company are happy to have you place an order online and then mail them a check or money order.

Second, any dye you use on polyester or nylon is going to require a HOT dyebath — not just tap-water hot, but stovetop hot. Nylon is best dyed with acid dyes in a pot heated to 185°F; it cannot be dyed in hot tap water. Polyester needs far more heat, as it must be boiled with special polyester dye, at 212°F or higher (higher temperatures than 212°F can be achieved only with a pressure cooker), for a minimum of half an hour. Both of these fibers will therefore require that you invest in a very large cooking pot that you are never again going to use for food. You can't reuse a dyepot for cooking, because all textile dyes, including Rit dye, will contaminate containers used for food preparation. Your dyepot has to be HUGE, that is, big enough for your jacket to move around in freely, or else the dye will produce patchy results, darker in some  areas and lighter in others. Ten gallons is probably the minimum size for dyeing a winter jacket. Also, you should not use a pot made of a reactive metal, such as aluminum or iron, because it can alter the colors produced by the dyes, sometimes remarkably, and aluminum will degrade in the acid (such as vinegar) needed for dyeing nylon. Your dyeing pot should be made of either stainless steel or enamel. A dyeing pot like this is a great investment if you are going to be doing a lot of hot-water dyeing, but it's far too expensive for a single use. It would cost less to find a coat you like at a resale shop.

However, if your coat is not at all water-resistant (does water bead up on the surface?), then you could paint a design onto it, which would make the dirt much less visible. You must use fabric paint, not ordinary house paint or artists' colors, because only fabric paint will be soft and not scratchy. You cannot get a single solid color, using fabric paints, but you can get a pigment-dyed effect with variations in color intensity, or of course you can paint any design you like. Look for a fabric paint advertised as working on synthetic fibers as well as natural ones. This will work only if your coat does not have any water-resistant or stain-resistant coating on the fabric. For more information on fabric paint, see "Fabric Paints: a different way to color fibers".

Another method that will work on both nylon and polyester is to make designs on paper using disperse dyes or fabric transfer crayons, then iron them on. These fabric crayons work only on synthetic fibers, such as polyester, nylon, acetate, or acrylic. They will not work on natural fibers, because they just wash out of those. Using iron-on transfers you make from disperse dye or fabric crayons, you can even make a repeating design by recoloring the first design and ironing it on again. Crayola Fabric Crayons are made of disperse dye; they look just like ordinary wax crayons, but do not confuse the two! Fabric crayons should never be used for ordinary drawings, and children's wax crayons absolutely will not work for permanently coloring fabric. For an example and instructions for using fabric crayons, see "Iron-on Fabric Crayons for Synthetic Fibers".

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

Posted: Sunday - December 14, 2008 at 02:16 PM          

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