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Unread 06-15-2003, 09:42 PM   #1
stryfe
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Dying polyester...is it possible?

Hey there. I was wondering if it was possible to dye something that was 100% polyester. I bought a bodice that I would like to use for my Rydia costume. I had been looking for a bodice in the right color (bright green) but they are impossible to find! So I was hoping to possibly dye it. I went to Jo-Ann's and looked through their fabric dyes. I bought a Dylon permanent fabric dye even though it said it would not dye polyester. Do they say this because it will not dye evenly, or because it will not dye at all? I also saw some kind of spray on fabric dye, but I was wary of it and it didn't say what kind of fabric it would work on.

I did some research and I found some disperse dyes online that say they can dye polyester, but you need to boil the garment as you dye it. I am a bit worried to boil the bodice because I believe the boning in it may be plastic and I would not want it to warp or melt.

The bodice itself is white and says it is made of 100% polyester. Most of the panels on it are a shiny white material, but two of the panels are definitely lycra. So basically I am wondering if I should use the dye I bought. I don't mind experimenting, but I was not sure if it says not to dye on polyester because it will cause damage to the garment.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a good dye that may work? (I need a bright bright green - It is for Rydia from FF4.) If the dying does not work I will probably just wind up covering it with fabric of my own but I thought dying it would look best. Thanks so much everyone and I hope this made sense!!
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Unread 06-15-2003, 09:49 PM   #2
Koumori
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Polyester is probably the most difficult fabric to dye, along with acrylic. The deal is that the fibers are basically plastic, so they are nonporous, and the color really needs to be added to them in the factory as the fibers are spun from the chemicals they use. You can still try it, and you may be able to get a little of the dye to set, but you probably won't be able to get a deep color on it.
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Unread 06-15-2003, 10:03 PM   #3
stryfe
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Thanks so much Koumori! I will definitely try it, if it doesn't work out I will just cover it with another fabric. I just wanted to make sure the dye wouldn't harm the fabric, but I guess they just put that on the package of dye so you don't get disappointed if the dye doesn't take. And luckily the color doesn't have to be very deep, her green is a very light bright shade. Thanks again!!!
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Unread 11-15-2007, 12:11 PM   #4
Annette
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I know it's a bit late but...through experimentation I've found that you CAN dye polyester - it just involves SUPER boiling water. I personally think that's too messy and am not willing to burn myself. So I invented a new way to go about it - and I will prove that polyester CAN be dyed easily and with regular materials you probably have lying around your house somewhere.

You can use whatever dye you want, however I used the RIT - so I can only speak for that brand. Instead of mixing with WATER, you use RUBBING alcohol. (For the record, you CAN use water but the result is MUCH stronger with alcohol.) The ratio is 7:1 - 7 parts alcohol to 1 part dye but you may want to test this to see if it's the strength you want. Now you dip your fabric in PURE alcohol first. You then dip it the dye mixture. Let it sit for a few minutes. Once you're done, the results will be VERY intense - DO NOT RINSE - I promise if you rinse, it will completely wash out the dye, hang to dry. You can use a blow dryer if you're as impatient as I am :P

Once completely dry, the fabric will be kinda stiff. Like a starchy effect. Take your iron and set it on as high as you can go without melting the polyester (you may want to test this onto a scrap of fabric as everyone's irons are different). Iron all of the dyed part. This will partially melt the polyester fibers and force the dye pieces to attach to the fibers themselves. Once it cools, you can wash off the excess color. Hold the material under a hose or faucet or whatever and make sure the water goes from cold to warm slowly. You can control how much of the dye you want to come off this way - the hotter the water, the more dye that will come off. You choose how faint or dark you want the effect.
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Unread 11-15-2007, 06:32 PM   #5
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Please do not necro-post! It's against site rules, and they close threads that get necroed.
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Unread 11-16-2007, 09:52 PM   #6
Annette
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? What's necroposting?
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Unread 11-17-2007, 12:08 AM   #7
Sarcasm-hime
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Necro-posting = reactivating a conversation thread that has been dormant for a long time. In this case, since 2003.

Great tip, though; I'll have to try it sometime.
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Unread 11-17-2007, 04:07 PM   #8
The Hag
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@Annette - it would have been o.k. to just start a new thread, but this is new and interesting info, so I don't think that the mods will close it.

Can I ask - what color was the fabric when you started and what color did you dye it?

You said that you iron all the dyed parts - that sounds like you only dyed part of the fabric? Or used dye for a design? Or did you dye a length of fabric?

How do you treat the finished garment? Can you wash it or will the dye continue to bleed? Do you dry clean it?

Have you tried dying different types of polyester? That is to say, different finishes like satin or moleskin?

Sorry for so many questions - but this is very interesting! Whatever additional info you have time to share would be great!
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Unread 05-21-2008, 09:49 PM   #9
Ashiikankwe
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Annette: your method seems to have worked so far--the only problem being the overwhelming fumes from the rubbing alcohol. I'm dying a white cotton/polyester gi bright red for my Mugen costume, and my first attempt just made it bright PINK. Second attempt, I used three tins of dye mix and the rubbing alcohol, and it's looking absolutely vivid red. I just hope the smell doesn't stay with it (it's still drying). Did the smell ever go away for you?
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Unread 05-26-2008, 10:26 AM   #10
wanderingdreamr
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I used this method for dying as well and it worked pretty well for me, and the fumes went away after a while (thank God, that's the one downside I see of this method).
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Unread 10-09-2008, 11:42 PM   #11
Reatrea
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I can dip it in rubbing alcohol or water first instead of pure alcohol? I'm not 21 and pure alcohol is expensive.
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Unread 10-13-2008, 02:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reatrea View Post
I can dip it in rubbing alcohol or water first instead of pure alcohol? I'm not 21 and pure alcohol is expensive.
...rubbing alcohol, not the kind you drink. It's about fifty cents for a bottle.
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Unread 01-22-2009, 02:09 PM   #13
Annette
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashiikankwe View Post
Annette: your method seems to have worked so far--the only problem being the overwhelming fumes from the rubbing alcohol. I'm dying a white cotton/polyester gi bright red for my Mugen costume, and my first attempt just made it bright PINK. Second attempt, I used three tins of dye mix and the rubbing alcohol, and it's looking absolutely vivid red. I just hope the smell doesn't stay with it (it's still drying). Did the smell ever go away for you?
Sorry I've been away so long!! Yes once you wash it out the smell goes away.

Now that I think about it, you could TRY using plain water - but the good thing about alcohol is how quickly it dries and you want it to evaporate quickly - just leaving dye particles behind. water takes too long to evaporate, and may just drip all the dye off the fabric altogether.

Good call using 3 tins of the dye - if you want it very dark you're gona have to up the amount of dye and lower the amount of alcohol. You may wana saturate it in a few layers of dye - maybe with a spray bottle as well. And even once you complete the process rinse everything off and dry, you may want to do it all over again and even perhaps a 3rd time depending how much darker or brighter you'd like it.
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Unread 01-22-2009, 02:17 PM   #14
Annette
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hag View Post
@Annette - it would have been o.k. to just start a new thread, but this is new and interesting info, so I don't think that the mods will close it.

1. Can I ask - what color was the fabric when you started and what color did you dye it?

2. You said that you iron all the dyed parts - that sounds like you only dyed part of the fabric? Or used dye for a design? Or did you dye a length of fabric?

3. How do you treat the finished garment? Can you wash it or will the dye continue to bleed? Do you dry clean it?

4. Have you tried dying different types of polyester? That is to say, different finishes like satin or moleskin?

Sorry for so many questions - but this is very interesting! Whatever additional info you have time to share would be great!
I added numbers to ur questions

1. The color was pure white. It was the casa polyester in the bridal section of joann's. Very pretty fabric.

2.Yes I was making Yuna's (From the original ff10 game) sleeves. They're like kimono style and they have a gradient that starts white and slowly turns pink as you go down.

3. How did I treat the finished garment? I crumpled it into a ball and stuffed it in my fabric scraps drawer lol!! I didn't need it because the fabric turned out a little shiny in my photos and I refuse to have any shine on my cosplays. But looking back at the fabric - the color is still very bright!! I look back and i"m thinking "Damn that worked well" lol. Have not tried to wash it, I may try tonight and get back to you later.

I would recommend hand washingt it in the coldest water you can -maybe even toss in some ice cubes in there. It's kinda like dying hair - if you've ever dyed it a really dark or bright color, a little washes off each time you go to wash it. Hairstylists will tell you that if you wash it in cold water, it will stay longer. This is also why you wash your "brights" in cold when doing laundry.

4. I have not, the fabric I tried dying was VERY THICK 100% polyester. So although I cannot speak for moleskin, satin is considerably thinner and SHOULD take just as easily. No promises though.

Hope this helps!!
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Unread 01-22-2009, 02:20 PM   #15
Annette
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sipesh View Post
...rubbing alcohol, not the kind you drink. It's about fifty cents for a bottle.
Yep! Just plain rubbing alcohol you can find at walmart or walgreens - its usually used as an anticeptic for cuts and stuff. I believe the higher the alcohol percentage, the better - because it will evaporate that much faster.
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