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Unread 08-28-2013, 08:04 PM   #1
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Dyeing pants with hair dye???

So I was wondering if it's possible to dye a pair of pants I have with hair dye. I read online that its possible as long as the fabric is cotton or linen, but I just wanted to make sure. Also if it is possible, how should I go about it. I've never dyed clothes before, so I want to know what I should and should not be doing.
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Unread 08-27-2014, 06:16 PM   #2
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I've never heard of using hair dye on fabrics but I highly doubt it would work. If you need to dye fabric I'd recommend just buying Rit Dye, it's not expensive and I've seen at just about every craft store I've been to. Also be careful when dying fabric, it can get messy!!! You should probably go buy a large pot just for dying fabric while you're out there!!!
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Unread 08-27-2014, 08:19 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by AveCosplay View Post
I've never heard of using hair dye on fabrics but I highly doubt it would work. If you need to dye fabric I'd recommend just buying Rit Dye, it's not expensive and I've seen at just about every craft store I've been to. Also be careful when dying fabric, it can get messy!!! You should probably go buy a large pot just for dying fabric while you're out there!!!
I agree with AveCosplay here. You use Rit Dye or any fabric dye for that matter. That's the whole purpose for Rit Dye. Hair dye is meant for...... well, hair. If The fabric that you want to dye is a plain white color that's cotton, rayon, ramie, linens, or blends, you're fine, just look for the color you want. Just add salt to the dyebath. If your pants is a white color that's nylon, silk, or wool, then add vinegar to the dyebath.

What are you trying to achieve exactly? Sometimes the light colors will actually turn into the desired color, but not always. It will sometimes turn a light color into another color. Here's 1 example for each situation:

1. When I was doing my Gunner Yuna cosplay, I needed to dye my half skirt into a darker blue at the top. I had to decide which darker blue I wanted and would work best. I chose Royal Blue. The fabric itself was almost a baby blue color and it happened to be cotton. To make sure that it was what I wanted and needed, I did a swatch test to see how it turned out. To my surprise, it turned perfect. Here's the end result: http://www.cosplay.com/photo/3485721/

2. If you needed a red color t-shirt, a place like WalMart was totally out of plain white and red t-shirts and you're stuck with a yellow, once you try to dye the yellow shirt into a red, you might have an orange shirt afterwards.

So overall, it's always best to dye a plain white color piece of clothing to the desired color that you need and use proper dye. Since your dyeing a piece of clothing, you use fabric dye.

Does that make sense?
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Unread 08-30-2014, 07:41 AM   #4
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I highly doubt it will work. It also depends on what kind of fabric you use and the colour you start from but still, the results can be disastrous so I strongly advice people to go for fabric dye instead. Fabric dye can be found at any craft store, I'm not sure what brand to recommend because I live in Eastern Europe and our craft stores have a lot of brands that are not found in America or Western Europe.
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Unread 09-05-2014, 10:24 PM   #5
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That doesn't sound like a good idea. You should use fabric dye for fabric.
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Unread 09-06-2014, 12:24 PM   #6
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Agreeing with others here: Fabric dye is your best bet when you need to dye fabric. Is it possible to leave color on fabric from hair dye? Absolutely, that is why they tell you to cover up your clothing or wear old clothing when dyeing hair because it will stain. Instead of saying, "No, go buy fabric dye", I want to add some logic to the discussion and explain "why".

Why is hair dye a bad idea for trying to dye fabric?
- It tends to be a gel/creme-like formula, enough to dye a head of hair and some people need 2 boxes.
- Not enough product to precisely and evenly color fabric like a dye bath will.
- Diluting hair dye in water to "make a dye bath" intervenes with chemical makeup.
- Hair dye is specifically formulated to penetrate human hair which is a different from fabric.
- Hair dye kits can be $5+ a box for an amount that would dye someone's hair.
- RIT or iDye etc. formulated for fabrics, cost around $2 per packet and will dye several yards of fabric
- Fabric dye is far more cost-effective and is formulated specifically for dyeing fabric.

RIT dye is a pretty standard tool for cottons and other natural fibers and if you are working with a synthetic fabric, iDye Poly is a beast. It will dye things you did not think were possible to dye.

Dyeing fabric is pretty easy, you just follow the specific directions on the box for whatever you buy. I would suggest buying whatever container is specified in the dye directions at a thrift or dollar store and reserving it for dyeing. Re: Keep a separate pot/container/thing for dyeing - you do not want to use your good cookware or anything that comes into contact with food for dyeing.

Hope this helps a bit!
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