I have a light blue dress that is 96% rayon and 4% spandex.  I would like to dye it black.

Name: Alix


Procion mx fiber reactive cold water dye

Procion MX  Dye

ideal for cotton, rayon, linen, and silk

When mixed with soda ash, Procion dyes are permanent, colorfast, and very washable. You can easily create a palette of brilliant colors ranging from light pastels to deep, vibrant hues.


Jacquard tie dye kit

Jacquard Tie Dye Kit

Dye up to 15 adult-size T-shirts, with vivid, electric colors that are so colorfast they can be washed with the daily laundry.


Message: I have a light blue dress that is 96% rayon and 4% spandex.  I would like to dye it black.  Is this possible and if so what kind of dye should I get?

Yes, this will work, if your light blue dress is washable and is free from any sort of stain-resistant or wrinkle-free surface finish. The only drawback is that the stitching holding the dress together at the seams is almost certainly made of polyester, which will remain the original color after you dye the dress. Whether or not this is a problem depends on how much of the stitching shows, and how formal the style of the dress is. 

As a general rule, it is best and easiest  to skip dyeing the spandex content of spandex blends, and dye only the non-spandex content. Since your dress is 96% rayon, this will not be a problem. Chances are that the spandex fibers are not even visible except when the fabric is being stretched. See my pages "How to Dye Spandex"
 and "How to Dye Rayon".

You will need to buy a good fiber reactive black dye. (See "About Fiber Reactive Dyes"
.) Do not use an all-purpose dye, such as Rit, because all-purpose dyes don't stay black very long, and all-purpose dyes require hot water, which is bad for spandex. I recommend that you buy an eight-ounce jar of black Procion MX dye. If you're in New York City and want to buy it locally, see Aljo Mfg. in Manhattan. Otherwise, mail order from Aljo or another dye supplier such as PRO Chemical & Dye in Massachussetts. For links and contact information for these and other dye sellers, see my page, "Sources for Dyeing Supplies Around the World".

You will also need soda ash
 or washing soda, to set the dye, which you can either buy along with your dye, or pick up at a swimming pool supplier of hardware store. You will need a large quantity of ordinary non-iodized salt, as well, since you will be dyeing in a large amount of water.

The easiest way to dye a garment a solid color with fiber reactive dye is to use a washing machine. Alternatively, you can do the same thing with a five-gallon plastic bucket, and do a lot of stirring. See "How can I dye clothing or fabric in the washing machine?"

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Posted: Friday - July 16, 2010 at 08:09 AM          

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