Last Updated on November 12, 2009 by Kalas
Which is better: FW Ink or Sharpies?
method is “superior” to the other. Each has its own pros and cons, so please investigate thoroughly the one you believe will suit your needs best. Envel did a fine job outlining issues people have with each method, so please reference her post if you are going to start “comparing” them. [Although said issues can generally be avoided if you do the respective methods correctly.]
The original calls for:
8 full squeezes of ink [into a spray bottle]
1 cup 70% rubbing alcohol
If you have issues with color or what ever, I personally use the more concentrated recipe of:
6 full squeezes of ink [into a spray bottle]
½ a cup of 70% rubbing alcohol
Where can I get FW Ink?
I personally get mine at a local art supply store, but you can also order them off dickblick.com. Stores like Michael’s carry a pack of the primary colors, so you can mix them to get any color you want if the other two outlets are of no use to you.
Does it remove the original sheen/gloss of the wig?
This is a common complaint, so in short, yes. It will look more matte then when you dyed it, but the wig still looks glossy. [See: http://www.cosplay.com/photo/1236877/
, do note that many people have had no issue with it.
Can I dye a darker wig to a lighter color with FW Ink dye?
No. The most you’ll do is tint it, if
Dyeing a wig black?
Just buy one, it’s easier…but if that’s not an option, you can dye a wig “black”. FW Ink's appears to be pure black pigment, not a mix of dark purples and browns usually found in things like Sharpies. The trick is to dye it once, rise, and then go at it again with another dye layer.
[Thanks go to Vince Noir for testing and refining this.]
Will the dye rub off or bleed after dyeing?
If you do it correctly, no.
How many bottles of ink do I need for _____ length wig?
One bottle should be fine for any wig length. As a matter of fact, you should be able to dye several wigs with one bottle
depending on the length. If you are using more then one
on a wig, you are doing something wrong.
The ink doesn’t come in my exact color. Help?
Mix them. The beauty of FW Ink is that it can be very
fine tuned to match exactly as you want it.
How do I make my dye lighter/darker?
You can generally use black to darken and white to lighten. I advise to use colors in the same
color family for more rich colors though [black and white are generally severe, so use them carefully].
What colors should I use for ______’s wig?
don’t ask these questions [unless it is something like having a difficulty between choosing one color over the other]. Besides the fact that I generally view these questions as lazy [you didn’t bother to look at the chart on the website or venture down to your art supply store], it’s a bit of an art. Odds are that your exact color isn’t available, so just play around with color combinations until you get the right one.
Mesh, wefts, and skin tops: will they dye?
Skin tops- tinted
Bucket versus Spray, which is better?
The bucket method [mixing a big batch of the dye and putting the wig in there to soak] takes up a lot more resources then the spray method, but theoretically
takes less time. When you mix big batches like that, you are soaking the wig in the pigment [which will dye it] with a “remover” [alcohol is what will strip a dyed wig of its color]. It shouldn’t theoretically work, but people have gotten it to do so; to each his own I guess.
But if alcohol is what removes the dye, why do we use it?
In a nutshell: it dries and leaves the pigment.
Can styling products be used on the dyed wig?
Yes. Things that have alcohol in them [like hair spray] should be used carefully, since vast amounts may strip or lighten the color.
Will the ink stain my skin?
Yes [be very aware of that]. But
no more so then a Sharpie.
Is the Ink safe?
Beside the normal “don’t eat it or get it in your eye”, the ink will be fine. The alcohol on the other hand is very choking if you are in a room with little ventilation. I’m no wuss to fumes, but it can get pretty bad in there. :x [Working out side and up wind is best.]
Metallic ink was mentioned, how did that go?
The metallic/glittery ink in and of its self won’t change any color, but if you put it with a regular color you may get something. They over all seem to be a hit and miss, so there is no definitive answer here.
FW Ink is expensive; can I use ______’s Artist Ink?
FW Ink isn’t that
expensive [especially considering that one bottle lasts more then one wig]. But if you honestly don’t want to dish out 3 more dollars, you need to consider the quality of the other inks out there. I know for fact that Higgin’s Ink does not work
, but others claim that cheepo ink [used in vast amounts] can get the job done. I generally don’t advise it though.
Does this only work on white wigs?
No, as long as you’re trying to make the wig darker, it should be fine. Keep in mind that the colors are transparent, so they will tint the surface they are being put on, not re-color it.
How do I keep the color even?
If you work in layers across the wig, just keep spraying consistently.
My wig is crunchy, what gives?
I have no honest answer to this, since I’ve never had this issue before and Honey Bunny was never able to figure out why it happens to certain people.
Over all, people I’ve seen have this issue used really out of whack ratios [like 15 drops to one cup], so it is strongly advised that you stick to 8 drops or less. Also, adding more layers will potentially get it stiffer and stiffer [although that seems to be more of an issue with higher layer numbers].
Will the dye bleed/rub off?
It shouldn’t if dyed and rinsed properly.
Do I have to use “expensive” wigs to get this to work?
No. People have gotten $8 Halloween wigs to work well with FW Ink dye.
The dye won’t stay on the wig long enough to take/the dye just drips off. How can I get it to stay?
Use a hair drier to dry the ink in place after you spray, then let it set. [Keep in mind the rules for hair driers and wigs.]
Can I just put the ink straight on the wig?
No. Besides the fact that it would be very crispy and expensive [it would probably take many bottles] you would lose any sheen/gloss the wig had in the first place. Over all, just don’t do it.
Oh no, I need more of a different color in my wig! Can I just dye over what I did last?
There is no guarantee that the first color will remain consistent on the layer below with the introduction of new dye [keep in mind that the new dye will also have alcohol, a striping agent]. If you want that constant color, you need to strip the wig and re-dye it. You could just spray over the first layer if you're willing to deal with the possibility of "highlights." [Thank you Kukkii-san for the input!]
How long should the dye sit on the wig?
Until the alcohol is dry! If it is wet and you wash or rinse the wig, the ink will go down the drain with the water. If you use the hair dryer method, it shouldn't have to sit at all! [Thank you Kukkii-san for the input!]
Some of the inks I have are labeled as "Pearlescent" and "FW Pearlescent". Do these types work just as pull as the ones that are just labeled "FW"?
I don't have any personal experience with these, but logic would tell you that they will more or less act like the metallic inks mentioned earlier. Basically, don't get your hopes up, but give them a shot if you want. Somebody was able to get a bit of a sparkly effect for a short period of time! [Thank you Inverse for the question and ladylada and Taruto! for the input!]
Helpful tools and tips!
-Helpful for when you need to order online!
[Thank you Lucrezea for the link!]
2 *This automatically went to download on my computer, so be aware! ;]
[Thank you Lucrezea for those links!]
You can determine whether a wig takes to the dye or not by doing swatch tests on a scrap of fiber before you attempt to dye the whole thing. This will also let you determine the perfect mix ratio; a streaky color may be the result of a very weak dye that hardly shows up at all (tempting you to overapply it, thus dissolving the dye that's already in the fiber.)
[Thank you Kukkii-san for the information!]
"Has anyone tried this dye on non-wig fibers? like fake fur or Fiber fill?"
I'm remaking my Tailmon, so I thought I'd try this out on the ears. It does work, but you need to be patient. Keep combing the fur so the dye gets all the way through the fibers and is even.
I do like the colour, but dunking in fabric dye is defs easier.
Thank you alacorn for the question and QuiteVile for testing this out!