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Unread 02-15-2013, 07:09 PM   #1
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Dying tights

So I bought some white nylon tights and some green dye, only to find out that the dye I bought will not take to nylon.

According to Google, you can use food dye to dye nylon. Thing is, all the instructions nearly everywhere for doing this is very, very vague, and so I just added food dye to water and put the tights in it and let them sit for a little over two hours, and now they're like a light mint green. So, I know that they WILL take colour of some sort, but I can't seem to get them any darker than a pale mint green, and I need them more like a darker bright mint green. Suggestions?
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Unread 02-15-2013, 07:24 PM   #2
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I've never dyed nylon, but from personal experience synthetic fibres are highly resistant to dyeing. I will go out on a limb and say food colouring may not be the best choice, simply because sweat and heat may cause it to bleed. I dunno about you, but having green legs after a con doesn't sound appealing to me.

What you need to dye a synthetic like nylon is either one of two types of chemical dyes. You'll need an acid dye, or a disperse dye. Disperse has fewer colour options and is less colourfast, so acid dye is your best bet. Also, I dunno how much laundry you do, but some dyes come out and damage the enamel finishes of the interior of washing machines and dryers. If you're living with your old folks, this could really peeve them. Be careful which dyes you use and learn about their colourfastness.

Here's some information.

Here's an online store that supplies acid dyes for permalon, or nylon.
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Unread 02-15-2013, 07:28 PM   #3
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You need to use acid dyes on nylon. My preferred acid dye is Jacquard Acid Dyes. The "acid" involved is not caustic; it's just vinegar. Vinegar can leave the final outcome smelling kind of funky though, so if you don't want to leave your tights in a room with an open window for 3 days to air out, you can substitute the vinegar with citric acid crystals.

Food dye is pretty likely to wash out and fade...and it'll bleed when you sweat. It will come off on you and your costume, and will probably leave sweat stains behind. You might want to wash the hell out of your tights to try and get as much of that stuff OUT as you can.

Low-end off-the-shelf dyes like Rit and Dylon are catch-all dyes that are mostly formulated toward cotton. (And they kind of suck.) Dyes for cellulose fabrics don't take to nylon.

I get my dyestuffs from this site, and they have great instructions:
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Unread 02-15-2013, 08:30 PM   #4
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Rit works on nylon. It's polyester that it won't work on.
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Unread 02-18-2013, 12:10 AM   #5
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i can tell you from personal experience that yes, rit dye can dye nylon tights. try adding vinegar to your mixture of hot water when dying your tights?
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