Can we tie-dye 60% cotton/40% polyester hoodies for a tie-dye party?

Name: Susan


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: Hi Paula:
My 11 year old daughter wants to have a tie dye birthday party and wants her friends to tie dye fleece hooded sweat shirts as the party activity.  My brother can purchase for me at a discount the sweatshirts but they are 60% cotton and 40% polyester.  Can this be done and what dye do you reccomend for a back yard children party wher I am the supervisor?!!!

The only dye I recommend for tie-dyeing is a cool water fiber reactive dye, such as Procion dye. Do not use a hot water dye such as all-purpose dye, because it requires scalding hot water to fix the dye, and because the dye fades and bleeds very badly in the wash. Procion dye will stay bright for years! An excellent choice would be almost any tie-dye kit. Go to your local crafts store and look for a tie-dye kit made by Jacquard, Dylon, Tulip, or Rainbow Rock. (Avoid the Rit tie-dye kit and the Magic Strings tie-dye kit, which contain hot water dyes that tend to fade badly.) Or, even better, go to the website of a good dye supplier such as PRO Chemical & Dye or Dharma Trading Company, and order a tie-dye kit from them.

60% cotton sweatshirts will not dye very brightly. You will get pastel colors that are 40% lighter than the usual colors, because the polyester will not take the dye. This is not necessarily a bad thing, since girls often like pastels, but if your daughter or her friends like bright colors, you should make an effort to find clothing that is 100% cotton, or at least 80% cotton. Dharma Trading Company has a wide range of highly suitable white dyeable clothing in all sizes. I recommend you check with them for something better than the 40% polyester sweatshirts. They have hoodies in a wide range of sizes. (Note that their sizes tend to run small.)

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Posted: Friday - August 08, 2008 at 09:48 AM          

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