Dyeing Silnylon

Posted by: Menawa

Dyeing Silnylon - 12/11/08 05:37 PM

My favorite solo tent is bright orange silnylon. That forces me to use less desirable tents when stealth camping. Is it possible to dye/subdue/camoflage silnylon without damaging it?
Posted by: Dryer

Re: Dyeing Silnylon - 12/12/08 05:05 AM

Nope. Silnylon is very inert stuff. The silicone doesn't allow dyes, or paint...or anything else, to get to the fibers. I suppose you could pile branches over it or only erect it after dark. Maybe make another tarp for it but that defeats the lightweight aspect. Should be a great tent during deer season! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
When I stealth camp, I usually don't establish a 'camp' until after sundown anyway.
That's probably your best option.
Posted by: chaz

Re: Dyeing Silnylon - 12/12/08 03:10 PM

Nope. Silnylon is very inert stuff. The silicone doesn't allow dyes, or paint...or anything else, to get to the fibers.

You got that right! How would you possiblly paint a lubricant? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />Silly kone is some slippery stuff. What you could do is find some camo ripstop and coat it after you finish your design. First erect your finished design taught. Mix Dow clear window caulk/sealant with some oderless mineral sprits to the consistancy of surup. Using a squeege ( I used a flexible putty squeege), pour some of the material on the upperside and spread it around to cover a section at a time. Doing my cat cut tarp, I started at the ridge line and worked my way down. Try to maintain an even coat. This is the tricky part. It is very hard to coat it totally evenly because as some of it dries as you are working new material into areas that have been previously coated. But the good news is that if you strive for even and thin consistancy it will repel water and hold up after repeated folding and stuffing etc.
Hope this helps.... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: Menawa

Re: Dyeing Silnylon - 12/12/08 08:37 PM

I knew silnylon would not take conventional dyes. However, I experimented making marks on it with green and brown permanent magic markers and it takes those colors. So I figured there might be some product out there that would subdue the bright orange without damaging the fabric. It would be a pain, but I guess I could buy a dozen or so big markers and ugly up the tent a bit.
Posted by: Pika

Re: Dyeing Silnylon - 12/13/08 05:11 AM

I think that you will find that the dye in Magic Markers fades from sil-nylon pretty quickly. I used to use Magic Markers to label my sil-nylon stow sacks and found that I needed to renew the marks a couple of times each season. Now, I just use bags of different colors and try to remember what is in the blue versus the green bags; not always successfully.
Posted by: Dryer

Re: Dyeing Silnylon - 12/13/08 06:10 AM

I can't imagine the mess made painting a perfectly good tent, nor the savings over simply making/buying a new tent in the color you really want....along with the goofy color you're likely to end up with. You'll be adding quite a bit of weight to what's supposed to be a light weight fabric, too.

Camo sil-nylon:

I think you're going to ruin your tent trying to color it.

Posted by: Menawa

Re: Dyeing Silnylon - 12/13/08 02:54 PM

You are probably right about it being a waste of time and effort. I have at least a dozen other tents (don't tell my wife) in subdued colors, but the bright orange tent is unique and the best I've found for certain conditions and it was never made in any other color. Obviously silicon can be colored because numerous silicon based products come in a rainbow of colors (caulk, kitchen utensils, high-temp silicon pads, etc.). But maybe it can only be colored while in a liquid state. I'm going to test the marker trick on a low section of the tent however. It's no big deal to me if the marker fades over time, I just don't want to damage the silicon coating.
Posted by: Dryer

Re: Dyeing Silnylon - 12/14/08 06:12 AM

I've made lots of silicone seam sealer from GE Silicon II and two parts paint thinner. It cures invisible on sil-nylon. I suppose you could get some oil based colorant from the Home Depot paint mixing gal and make silicone paint.
I made some from black silicone to UV proof trampoline bed stitches.....that stuff is some nasty goo, but it outlasted the fabric itself. It comes in brown, black, white, and clear. Maybe carry some camo netting from the army/navy store.... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
If you are using the tent to stealth camp, pitch it after sundown and don't worry about it. Human eyeballs don't see color well after dark. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />