Dyeing polished white strong and flexible

Discussion in 'Finishing Techniques' started by gibell, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. gibell
    gibell Well-Known Member
    I have been dyeing Shapeways WSF material for two years now using RIT fabric dyes. Recently, I have been having more and more problems with the process. A friend had heard from the Disk Golf community that RIT has changed their dyes recently, and the new dyes do now work as well on plastics. I have found that the new formula RIT dyes, which have a code on the top which begins with "ND", do not work very well for WSF. In addition, polished WSF in general is more difficult to dye compared with ordinary (unpolished) WSF.

    What other dyes have people used? What dyes work best on polished WSF? The dye that Shapeways uses seems to be very nice. Any hint as to who makes this dye?

    Here in the USA, Jacquard dyes are an alternative to RIT. They make iDye Poly, which is specifically for synthetic fabrics (so probably good for nylon), as well as a line of "acid dyes". Has anyone experience with either of these?
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
  2. AmLachDesigns
    AmLachDesigns Well-Known Member
    Check out 58771 it msy be useful.
  3. gibell
    gibell Well-Known Member
    Thanks, that thread is very useful. That thread only discusses dyeing in black. I am interested in all colors!
  4. AmLachDesigns
    AmLachDesigns Well-Known Member
    Shows what I know - to me dying is dying...

    All non-white strong and flexible products sold by Shapeways start off white and are dyed, by SW. The link I gave is some people doing the dying themselves of wsf.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
  5. gibell
    gibell Well-Known Member
    Over the past week I have been dying polished WSF using Jacquard acid dyes. The results have been somewhat mixed. Yellow sun turned out beautifully and perfectly evenly. Chestnut brown is OK but the color is a bit uneven.

    One thing that seems to happen quite often in any dying process with polished WSF is that the color can appear very uneven during the dying process. This unevenness is always oriented with the print orientation. The "top" of the pieces as printed appears much lighter than the "bottom". The interesting thing is that most times this unevenness goes away after the parts dry, in other words it is only visible when the pieces are wet. And for some reason I have never seen it happen with unpolished WSF.

    I have not seen any unevenness in the Shapeways dyed polished WSF. Perhaps I will try wetting some of these pieces to see if it becomes visible.
  6. gibell
    gibell Well-Known Member
    Here are some photos of my latest tests. ALL material shown is polished WSF. The first two pieces were dyed by Shapeways.


    Left: purple as dyed by Shapeways (this is polished WSF dyed purple)
    Right: coral red as dyed by Shapeways
    These are both excellent, very uniform and bright colors!
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
  7. gibell
    gibell Well-Known Member
    Next we have some less successful colorings ...


    Top left: Jacquard Acid 601 Yellow Sun, best of the bunch! The color is very even.
    Top right: Jacquard Acid 632 Chestnut, dark and uneven, although the uneveness doesn't show so much in the photos.
    Bottom left: Jacquard Acid 627 Kelly Green, despite boiling for 45 minutes, the color is way too light, a strange neon green.
    Bottom right: Jacquard iDye Poly 452 Green, way too dark in only 5 minutes, barely identifiable as green. Dye concentration may have been too high.
  8. gibell
    gibell Well-Known Member
    Blue, anyone?


    Top left: RIT Royal Blue, the new formula. Dark and uneven, looks better in this photo than in reality.
    Top right: Jacquard Acid 623 Brilliant Blue. Excellent color, slightly uneven. Overall the best blue.
    Bottom left: Jacquard iDye Poly Blue. Very even and nice color. More shifted towards red than the previous two, appears violet in comparison.
    Bottom right: Jacquard Acid 617 Cherry Red. Excellent color, but more pink or fuchsia than red.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
  9. gibell
    gibell Well-Known Member


    Top left: Jacquard Acid 617 Cherry Red. Excellent color, but more pink or fuchsia than red.
    Top right: Jacquard Acid 618 Fire Red. Poor color saturation. Even, but more like a salmon color.
    Bottom: Jacquard iDye Poly Red. Very even and nice color. A bit dark.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
    ccbaran likes this.
  10. DesignRosetta
    DesignRosetta New Member
    Thanks for the pictures; I will have to try- even with uneven colors they are quite gorgeous and you could do an interesting dip dye process too.
  11. gibell
    gibell Well-Known Member
    Strange how the photos always seem to make the colors look better than they appear in person. The three blues, for example, are quite different, but the photo makes them look very similar.

    Dip dye would be quite tricky, given that the mixture is boiling (generally)! But an interesting idea!
  12. gibell
    gibell Well-Known Member


    Top left: Jacquard Acid 612 Lilac. Good color but a bit light. This is the only one that looks purple to me.
    Top right: Jacquard Acid 613 Purple. Good color but is virtually identical to blue.
    Bottom left: Jacquard Acid 614 Violet.. Slightly redder but still appears basically blue.
    Bottom right: Jacquard Acid 623 Brilliant Blue.

    This photo was taken outdoors. Under artificial light all 4 colors appear identical in a photograph!
    ccbaran likes this.
  13. gibell
    gibell Well-Known Member
    more colors in iDye Poly ...


    Top left: iDye Poly brown, nice and even, best brown yet.
    Top right: iDye Poly Black, very dark and even, best black.
    Bottom: iDye Poly Green, best green yet! I show this color above but before the dye concentration was too high.
  14. gibell
    gibell Well-Known Member
    After much experimentation, I now have a set of 7 colors that I am happy with. Besides nice color, one of my criterion is that the colors appear different from one another. Here are the 7 Jacquard dyes I now use:

    Blue: acid dye Brilliant Blue
    Red: acid dye Cherry Red
    Yellow: acid dye Yellow Sun
    Purple: iDye poly Violet
    Green: iDye poly Green (still looking for a better green)
    Brown: iDye poly Brown
    Black: iDye poly Black
  15. NormL
    NormL New Member
    Do you mind saying what concentration, duration and temperature you used for the green poly?
  16. gibell
    gibell Well-Known Member
    The trick with the green seems to be very low dye concentration. I only use 1/10 to 1/20'th of a dye packet in 1 liter of water, whereas with other colors I can use up to 1/4 of a dye packet. I boil the parts for about 5 minutes for green, whereas for other colors the time can be considerably longer. I live at altitude 1600m, so my boiling temp is reduced by 6 degrees C or so.

  17. NormL
    NormL New Member
    Thank you! My Washington "The Evergreen" State elevation maps are very appreciative. They just don't look right in red or black.
  18. gibell
    gibell Well-Known Member
    I am still looking for a better green. The iDye Poly Green still seems too dark to me, even in low concentrations, I would like something brighter. I had high hopes recently for the new color: "iDye Poly Kelley Green", but I tried it recently and I think I again overdosed the dye. It came out too dark. It is all too easy to go overboard on green in particular.

    Shapeways used to have a green that was quite bright, but the color was discontinued. I am not sure what dye brand they used ...
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2013
  19. NormL
    NormL New Member
    They are still a little wet, but, you were not kidding about how quick they take color!

    This was my first test on the Evergreen State, LOL
  20. NormL
    NormL New Member
    I do see what you mean about needing a better green. It is a little too drab in person. It works fine for a cartoon about a state, but, for just a green object it does need to be brighter. Thank you for your help