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Unread 11-14-2011, 10:22 PM   #1
Andrea
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Effects of chlorine on Rit dye?

I'm having trouble finding the right striped pattern in a stretch fabric for a swimsuit cosplay, but I already know of a particular stretch fabric that a local store carries which is extremely easy to dye with Rit (90-95% cotton knit if I'm remembering correctly). So my question is this: how does Rit hold up if you take fabric dyed with it into a chlorinated pool? I know chlorine generally is not good to colors, but with Rit, would it be more along the lines of "color will fade with multiple swimming sessions/washings" or "color will immediately bleed, staining the rest of the fabric and discoloring the pool water around you"?

I'd try experimenting with this myself, except I don't have access to a chlorinated pool. I'm guessing SOMEONE here has probably tried it at some point, though. =)
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Unread 11-14-2011, 10:26 PM   #2
ShiNo_Usagi
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If it reacts like chlorine bleach does it'll fade/strip the dye right out. Just like with dyed hair, dye doesn't do well with chlorine.
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Unread 11-15-2011, 10:27 AM   #3
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That's what I was thinking... but chlorine in a large pool full of water is rather less concentrated than chlorine bleach in a washing machine, so I'm wondering if the effect would be more gradual or immediate. Some of the preliminary research I've done also suggests that chlorine bleach is not a good way to remove Rit dye from the kinds of fabrics that Rit usually works on, which is why I was hoping to hear from someone who's actually tried swimming in something dyed with Rit. (Something other than lycra, which hardly holds the stuff even without chlorine involved. I did come across a few accounts of people attempting to dye spandex bathing suits, and that sounded like a very bad idea.)
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Unread 11-15-2011, 02:44 PM   #4
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Unless you use the dye fixative, any water will cause RIT to bleed out and stain other parts of your fabric (learned from experience). However, you're going for stripes? RIT isn't as good for detailed designs. I'd get a nice fabric paint instead. I like to use the little fabric paint markers you can find at Jo-Ann's, but I'm dying to try Jacquard's line after all the things I've heard about it. Paint also tends to be more chlorine-proof.
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Unread 11-15-2011, 07:02 PM   #5
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I thought about fabric markers, but I would need a LOT of fabric markers to make really wide stripes like this fabric needs. (Think 2-3 inches wide across the width of the fabric - I'm not making a tiny bikini.) Meanwhile, I've dyed stripes of that width into fabric using Rit in the past - and actually, you don't need to use the fixative so it doesn't bleed in water, you just need to follow the instructions on how to set it. I wash stuff dyed with Rit on a regular basis with no fading or bleeding - I've been tie-dyeing stuff for 20 years - just I've never taken it into chlorinated water.

Since the fabric's stretchy, I'm thinking paint would not be the greatest idea either. It would be less expensive and tedious than fabric markers, but I'd still have to cover a lot of space as evenly as possible, and the color needs to soak into the actual fiber instead of sitting atop it, so a dip-dye is really my best bet.

So yeah, I've thought this through, I'm not looking for alternative ways of coloring fabric (unless someone knows of a different dye that definitely holds up to chlorine and can be used on cotton knit, in which case, please tell me!).

My actual QUESTION is just this: Does anyone have firsthand experience with taking stuff dyed with Rit into chlorinated water, and if so, is it likely to immediately bleed out and discolor stuff, or just gradually fade? Because if it's likely to gradually fade, no big deal - stripes like this would be easy to re-dye if I decide to wear it enough that it matters. But I don't want to stain the con hotel's swimming pool by trying a photoshoot and having the suit bleed badly as soon as I go in.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 02:15 PM   #6
harmonyisarine
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I, too, have had a lot of experience with RIT dye (and properly setting it, oh my!) and it has never ended well in water. You asked for opinions on RIT in chlorinated water, I gave my opinion. Your response felt lectury and unnecessarily harsh. Also, fabric paint can be used on a wide variety of stretchy fabric (even the almighty spandex bodysuits), and a good paint ends up sinking and becoming nearly indistinguishable from fiber.

Chlorine in pools is so dilute it can hardly be considered as a bleach, and it has no effect on a range of non-bathing suit dyes. If it can stand water, it can most likely stand the occasional pool romp (and before anyone else jumps down my throat, yes, chlorine will eat away at some fabrics, but only over a long time and many exposures).

My actual ANSWER is just this: If you're that concerned, take one of your many tie-dyed things and throw it in a pool. The dye won't hurt the pool water or filtration system at all, even if it bleeds.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 03:12 PM   #7
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That's exactly my problem. As I said in the initial post, I don't have a pool available to toss one of my dyed things in, or I wouldn't have posted here in the first place. :P

And I wasn't trying to be harsh, but I know firsthand that Rit dye doesn't bleed in regular water as you stated it does, as long as you prepare the dye bath correctly and rinse the fabric thoroughly after dyeing. Your suggestions to use different methods instead also seemed to indicate an assumption that I hadn't already considered other options, so I thought perhaps I should restate my question clearly for anyone else who might wander by this thread and think I was just asking "how do I make stripes that'll be okay in chlorinated water?"

Because that wasn't what I was asking at all. I'm asking about the chemical interaction between a couple different substances, one of which I don't have access to. I think you're correct that it wouldn't immediately pull the color out of the fabric just by virtue of the water having some chlorine in it, but I'd still be curious to know of any firsthand observations.
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Unread 11-21-2011, 02:53 PM   #8
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RIT dye

RIT brand dye is a Union dye that means it has lots of different types of dye in it, and lots of salt so that it will dye many different types of fabric. It also means that it will wash out of any type of fabric it doesn't dye. If you haven't rinsed out the dye properly then it will rinse out all over you in the pool. If you have rinsed out the dye so that the water runs clear then it will just slowly fade from the chlorine in the pool.

The reason swimming suits don't fade very quickly is because they are made of synthetic fabrics that have been dyed specifically for synthetics.

Spandex (name brand Lycra) dyes very well in the right type of dye. If you use a Fiber Reactive dye like Procion brand you can get some very brilliant colors. You can get that, as well as lots of advice here:http://www.dharmatrading.com/topnav/dyes/

I don't recommend trying to dye stripes. Most stripes are knitted that way with different color yarns. You'll never get it to not bleed onto the next color if you are dying or painting. I recommend expanding your search. http://spandexworld.com/c3/catalog/browse/69
or http://www.spandexhouse.com/products...avName=Stripes

Good luck!
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Unread 11-21-2011, 04:07 PM   #9
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All right, thanks! That first paragraph was what I wanted to know.

Dyeing the stripes on the cotton blend I was intending to use has gone pretty decently so far, since it's just 2in of white and 2in of blue alternating. Time-consuming, but there's only one color involved, which helps keep it simple. And yeah, I already looked at that website, and every other fabric site I could find mentioned even peripherally on these forums, plus several others, and none of them have spandex with stripes that wide in the right color. (The only fabric I could find *at all*, anywhere on the web, with wide enough stripes in the right color, was awning canvas. Not what I'd want to make a swimsuit out of. ) I'd been searching for a REALLY long time, which was why I finally decided to dye, despite the effort involved and the possibility it might not hold up to a photoshoot in an actual pool. Will have to remember about the Procion dye working on synthetics, though... could come in handy for future projects.
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