How do you dye stuff black? [Archive] - OSW: One Sixth Warrior Forum

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smoothbore120
05-15-2010, 21:43
I have a tan vest that I am interested in turning black. I know how to dye cloth, but you can't use cloth dye on plastic or polyester fabrics. So, how would I dye stuff like nylon, polyester thread and plastic in general?

unclechopchop
05-16-2010, 00:02
There's this stuff I used that I got at Joann's (a fabric store). It's called iDye. There's two different kinds, and one of them is for polyester (iDye Poly). I have mixed feelings about this stuff, but only because I might have done it wrong. After drying I immediately gave the item a quick wash under the water to get the excess dye out, but unfortunately most of it washed out. I often hear that it's near impossible to make dye stick to polyester and not have it rub off with these dyes. You can give it a try, and maybe you'll have better luck than me.
Also, I noticed that it doesn't smell that great either. Maybe that's something that can wear off after a while. If you throw a smelly item in a small baggy with a fabric softener sheet, the smell will dissipate after a couple of days. If worse comes to worse, you can always use permanent marker. That works great, but the smell makes it almost unbearable. That smell might take a while longer to go away, so be warned, very warned!
I hope all of this helps.

smoothbore120
05-16-2010, 14:49
I don't really want to use a magic marker cause it has that purple tint to it. I was thinking of making a deadly mixture of dyes so strong, it'll turn into a black hole of color. I would throw normal fabric dye in it, black leather dye, water down black acrylic paint and this polyester dye. Boil it and let the item sit in there for 5 hours, let it dry and then wash it, redye it, dry it and wash it again and see how that works. Of course with a test item to see if it works. Lucky for me the plastic parts are already black. But any other advice or black dyes would be appreciated. I wonder if black oil paint might help? Since oil paint is oil paint and polyester is part oil, it might bond well.

Kurt-Heinrich1917
05-16-2010, 16:53
Hallo!

In brief and to over-generalize, one cannot dye "plastic" fabric.

If lads have a technique share, I could use it.

Dyestuff, and dyestuff mordants that prepare fabric and/or set teh dye as well as the color is pretty much dependant upon its being taken into the structure of the fabric yarn or thread. Different chemicals allow the textile to absorb the dye.

"Poly" or "plastic" is not open to absorb dye. I suppose one can loa dup the surface to look like it was dyed, but it is on the surface only, not in, and will wash off if not wipe off.

As far as I know, plastic is tinted in its manufacture, or printed with inks after it is woven into cloth.

I am reminded at the moment of some Civil War reenactors who have cheaper uniforms made of high nylon content wool blends. When they try to dye them to change colors, the wool takes the dye but the polyester does not creating unusual "problems."

(A couple of months ago I tried to bleach a "poly" uniform to fade it, and a camo pattern uniform to redye it one color. The 50/50 bleach water mix did nothing, even when simmered. The colors remained intact until the bleach dissolved the polyester turning my uniforms into little strands of gunk.)

Others' mileage will vary....

Valken
05-17-2010, 10:56
When you really need to change plastic to another color, most modelers would paint it. Thus you may need to use a waterbased paint, dilute it, then soak it, let it dry. Then repeat a few times if the shade is not correct. The problem is that it tends to harden the fabric a lot.

If you want to test this really quick, I recommend you try water based paint (acrylic paint) with rubbing alcohol as the dilutant. It will dry really quick after soaking so you don't need to wait all day for results.

I would cut the paint ~ 1 part paint, 3-4 parts rubbing alcohol (isopropanol).

Be careful as in this case, the liquid is highly flammable until dry. Keep it away from heat or fire during the dyeing/painting process.

Scimitar
05-17-2010, 13:54
I don't really want to use a magic marker cause it has that purple tint to it.

I've used black Sharpie laundry markers and found that they don't have that purple tint that you get with other markers. You can get them from a grocery store. I found them in the detergent isle. They were less than $2 for a pack of 2 markers.

unclechopchop
05-17-2010, 14:34
I've used black Sharpie laundry markers and found that they don't have that purple tint that you get with other markers. You can get them from a grocery store. I found them in the detergent isle. They were less than $2 for a pack of 2 markers.

Laundry markers? I'm going to check out some of those. I know those won't have a foul smell!

Scimitar
05-17-2010, 15:06
I wouldn't say that they don't smell. After using one I wash and dry the item and the smell is gone.

Cerberus
05-18-2010, 03:04
I don't really want to use a magic marker cause it has that purple tint to it. I was thinking of making a deadly mixture of dyes so strong, it'll turn into a black hole of color. I would throw normal fabric dye in it, black leather dye, water down black acrylic paint and this polyester dye. Boil it and let the item sit in there for 5 hours, let it dry and then wash it, redye it, dry it and wash it again and see how that works. Of course with a test item to see if it works. Lucky for me the plastic parts are already black. But any other advice or black dyes would be appreciated. I wonder if black oil paint might help? Since oil paint is oil paint and polyester is part oil, it might bond well.
No it will ruin the vest and make the fabric harden.

You can use fabric dyes to 'stain' the material but that's all it will do, stain them.
Going from my own experience the black dyes will atler the colour of the synthetic fabric strands a bit but never enough to get them to a true dark black colour.

I had the material and dye simmering in a stove top pot for hours (Wife wasn't happy about that.), let it dry, washed it and I repeated this process over again a couple of times.

Heat is the best catalyst for any re-dying of fabrics and you have to 'stew' them for ages to get the best results.
Now it did alter my OD Green colour fabric to a nice Dark Grey but it didn't go black.

So if you don't mind the 'faded black' look instead of a true black colour you could try it.

But be careul because I think you will find the vest is actually made from several synthetic materials.
The fabric could be nylon, while the sewing thread is made from polyester for example and they both respond to fabric dyes differently.

:dunno I personally would put the vest into your spare loose parts box until you need one that colour and just buy a black one and save yourself a lot of hassle.



BTW, When dying some synthetic materials, the process is aided by adding a bucket load of SALT to the dye mix when you boil the fabric and dye together. - Sorry but I can't remember which types of fabrics they were.

21brett
05-21-2010, 21:20
Try using the polymer clay (black) on the plastic, and smooth out. It's just a possibility.