Anyone ever dyed nylon fabric?

Posted by: phat

Anyone ever dyed nylon fabric? - 04/28/08 09:25 AM

In particular, (after the recent threat on colors) - I'm actually really interested in tie dying a piece
of 1.1 nylon - I know I probably can't dye silnylon - so if I really want a tie die silnylon tarp (and I think
I've decided I do) I'll do the silicone coating myself. However, what I'm not sure of is if I find some light
white nylon, can I sew myself a tarp, then actually find something that will die it that will both work, and let me do the tie dye effect on it..

I know, it's probably insane - but it's just insane enough that someone here might have tried it...

Any thoughts?
Posted by: phat

Re: Anyone ever dyed nylon fabric? - 04/28/08 09:30 AM

Or I suppose, has anyone here every tried anything crazy like this:

<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: chaz

Re: Anyone ever dyed nylon fabric? - 04/28/08 11:05 AM

So you want a stealth rain fly for the next woodstock? That is a good question. Think I'll experiment with some of the funky green nylon I'm useing for my fly. If I could do some kinda camo tye dye. I though about using some kind of fabric spray paint?
Posted by: pennys

Re: Anyone ever dyed nylon fabric? - 04/28/08 11:53 AM

Nylons fibers do not absorb or react with most kinds of dyes. is the end-all site for dye questions.
Posted by: hootyhoo

Re: Anyone ever dyed nylon fabric? - 04/28/08 02:23 PM

I did. I got some of that dye from walmart and used it on some dwr ripstop. I boiled water in my wifes giant cauldron thingy. (She does not know about this by the way. And lets keep it that way.) Then I put in my windshirt. It did absorb some of the dye, but not much. I sprayed it with camp dry to make it repel water again. I considered this a waste of effort. The color did stay in though after repeated washings - it was just not much of a color change. Bottom line - the walmart stuff does not work very well on nylon. By the way, the original dwr treatment was all but gone at the time of this experiment and I do not think it affected the outcome.
Posted by: TurkeyBacon

Re: Anyone ever dyed nylon fabric? - 04/29/08 03:20 AM

Acid dyes will dye nylon, but... it probably won't stay. I also build skin-on-frame kayaks (wooden frame covered in fabric and coated). Nylon is the material of choice and many people dye it brown or black. However, it also gets covered in polyurathane which prevents fading. Otherwise, it wouldn't stay put. So if you are going to coat it, it might work.
Posted by: phat

Re: Anyone ever dyed nylon fabric? - 04/29/08 07:36 AM

Well, I figure if I'm gonna try it, I'll just sew the tarp, tie dye it, and then siliconize it with 50/50 white gas/ge silicone. I presume the silicone will keep the dye in it.
Posted by: Wolfeye

Re: Anyone ever dyed nylon fabric? - 04/29/08 09:45 AM

Maybe large banner printing would work? It looks like the materials they use are too heavy, though...

Edit: It looks like googling "custom printed nylon fabric" churns up some promising results. Still not sure if printing such lightweight material would be an issue, though; it would stick better than dying, but I wonder if the printing machinery would be able to handle it.
Posted by: Franco

Re: Anyone ever dyed nylon fabric? - 04/29/08 05:19 PM

Hi Phat
The coating in particular sounds tricky but I am sure that there are many that will be interested in the results. (particularly if you could do camo)
We sent man to the Moon but cannot find an easy way to dye nylon, where are our priorities ?
(petition your Congressman)
Posted by: billk

Re: Anyone ever dyed nylon fabric? - 05/02/08 10:46 PM

I dyed a pair of homemade nylon pants with ordinary Rit dye, and it worked reasonably well. The color may be lighter than expected, or a second treatment may be necessary. Probably some eventual fading, too. I suspect tie-dyeing might not give satisfactory results. The obvious thing to do is to try dyeing some small samples.

I think it would be a bit safer to use mineral spirits rather than white gas to thin the silicone, BTW (referring to a different post).
Posted by: nimby

Re: Anyone ever dyed nylon fabric? - 05/03/08 05:02 AM

I dyed a pair of long nylon gloves to match a prom dress , um, a few years ago. I used the powdered Rit dye that you heated up. They took the dye well, but then, I never wore them in broad daylight, so I don't know how permanent it would be under outdoor conditions. It might weaken the fabric, as tea dying does to cotton, although the gloves still live on in our 'dress-up' box. You might try following up the dye job with the wash-in sunscreen product, although the package instructions I have do not mention nylon, just "cottons, linen, rayon, silk", and "safe for all washable fabrics". Sounds like an entertaining project, anyway. I'd love to hear how it turns out!
Posted by: johndavid

Re: Anyone ever dyed nylon fabric? - 05/11/08 09:40 PM

I have a similar question about bleaching nylon.

I found a fairly nice nylon cowboy hat on sidewalk in Jersey City, where some years ago, I also found a North Face Nuptse down jacket.

The hat fits me, and I have a big head...but it is pink. Nothing against pink, mind you, but it isn't quite my optimal personal style. I'd go for bleached. Does anything work?

Although I'm not big on sun hats, sometimes they're worthwhile.

Posted by: Roocketman

Re: Anyone ever dyed nylon fabric? - 05/13/08 04:29 AM

Natural fabrics (cotton, etc) responds to bleach & dyes to change colors.

> Is there any parallel for nylon (such as a nylon backpack)? Is there any way
> to change color of this material?

> Thanks,

Nylon is normally dyed with acid dyes vs. the mordant dyes used for
cotton. The cotton dyes do not work well and I am not sure of
availability of acid dyes to the general public. Acid dyes attach
themselves to the nylon amine end groups.

Chlorine bleach will damage nylon but you might be able to do something
with a peroxide bleach as evidenced here:

From: "Rolf Wissmann" <>
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2008 16:18:49 +0200
Local: Tues, Apr 22 2008 9:18 am
Subject: Re: Changing color of nylon fabrics?

examples for suitable acid dyes for nylon:

and how to remove them (partially?):
Posted by: chaz

Re: Anyone ever dyed nylon fabric? - 05/14/08 02:58 PM

When you find something as rare as a pink cowboy hat for free. You shouldn't destroy the Karma life that it has built into the life of the object. If I were you, I would proudly wear the garment and instill some of your energy into it. Besides, bleach would probably melt nylon?