Dying Strong and Flexible

Discussion in 'Finishing Techniques' started by Magic, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. Magic
    Magic Well-Known Member
    You must recognize a failure when you see one.
    My attempt to dye Strong and Flexible is a failure.

    I read a lot of threads about dying Strong and Flexible and usually the name that comes again and again is RIT.
    Unfortunately this brand is not available in Europe.
    I tryed once with a Dylon dye, but unfortunately the product that was available at my store was not suitable for Nylon and it was a failure.

    So I ordered on Internet some Acid Dyes. The brand is Jacquard. I followed the instructions: it was a failure. The colors were washed out as if the dye had not pentrated the material.
    I tried again adding some vinegar: a new failure.

    You can see the result here:

    The process I followed is this one:
    - Wash the model with soap and hot water
    - Rinse
    - Add the powder in hot water in a small plastic bottle (0.16g of powder for 160ml of water for a model of 10g)
    - add some drops of vinegar (between ten and twenty I would say)
    - Add the model in the bottle
    - Put the bottle in boiling water for 30 min, regularly shaking the bottle
    - Empty the bottle and rinse the model.

    So what did I do wrong?
    Perhaps I did not rinse enough well? When I shaked the bottle there was some foam at the surface.
    Perhaps the water in the bottle was not hot enough? But it's written it should not boil.
    Any idea? Anyone that would like to share his experience with Jacquard acid dyes?


  2. mctrivia
    mctrivia Member
    It took me a week to find a supplier of RIT die in Canada. Almost no one caries it but 1 craft store still did.

    As for procedures.
    1) Put hot water and die in small thermos
    2) close lid and shake well
    3) add models
    4) close lid and shake gently until time has lapsed(time varies depending on colour. aim short if you don't know how quick it will go. 2 to 4 minutes usually)
    5) remove models with a spoon
    6) if colour is good rinse off gently and place on paper towel. if too light go to step 3

    Note model will get a little liter when you rinse off. I usually have a bucket of cold water near by for this step.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  3. virtox
    virtox Active Member Moderator
    I have had excellent results with Dylon tins (the hot water version)
    Cleaning and rinsing before dying is a must, and some colors are better/more even than others.

    I just follow the instruction:
    Use an old pan with prescribed amount of water ( or less), add the tin and salt.
    Keep stirring and simmering until time is up or the colors look nice.
    I'm always too hasty, but you can easily let it simmer for 30 minutes to get deep dark colors.

  4. Magic
    Magic Well-Known Member
    @ Mctrivia: I can try again to find a supplier in France, or pehaps order it by Internet (but the shipping fees are not always included in the prices... ;))

    @ Virtox: the Dylon dye I used was for washing machine. I saw afterward that it was writtent it was not suitable for Nylon (only cotton, linen and viscose). Hot water version... What is exactly written on the box?

    Thanks for the informations.

    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  5. virtox
    virtox Active Member Moderator
    I buy them at local drugstores (Etos/DA) for about €2,50 I believe.

    Dylon Tins.jpg

    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  6. virtox
    virtox Active Member Moderator
    Dylon Description.jpg
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  7. virtox
    virtox Active Member Moderator
    They don't keep much stock of colors, so it's a bit luck of the draw which colors I can get, but if you want, I could check and buy you a handful and send them?
    PM me with details if you want.

    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  8. thehumanhive
    thehumanhive New Member
    Here's another thread that talks about both RIT and Jacquard Acid Dyes.

    Gear Heart arrived!

    I didn't get good results using Jacquard dye, but pdlincoln had very good results using RIT (using the same model).
  9. Magic
    Magic Well-Known Member
    @Virtox: Ah, yes, these are the multi-purpose dyes. These ones were unfortunately missing from my store.
    Thank you for your offer. I will first see if I can use the dyes I already own. They are acid dyes: they SHOULD work!

    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  10. Magic
    Magic Well-Known Member
    @ Thehumanhive: you got better results than me. I am wondering whether I put enough powder relativly to the quantity of water. Do you remember what proportions you used?
    The RIT result is outstanding, perhaps I should just find RIT...
    And wonderful model, btw ;)
  11. thehumanhive
    thehumanhive New Member
    @Magic: Thank you. :D And, yes, I know approximately how much I used. I used about .25 ounces of dye (half of a .5 ounce container), 1/4 cup vinegar and about 12 cups of water.

    I'll be dying another heart soon using RIT dye. I'll let you know how it turns out.
  12. Magic
    Magic Well-Known Member
    12 cups of water... Can you please tell me what is the approximate volume of a cup?
  13. thehumanhive
    thehumanhive New Member
    Ah, sorry.

    1 US cup = 236.6 ml

    So, a total of about 2.8 liters.

    Here is a picture of my most recent dye job using liquid scarlet RIT. I used about a third of a bottle of RIT in 12 cups of water but it took about 40 minutes to get to this color.

    It turned out looking very similar to watermelon flesh. Not completely uniform (probably because the parts wanted to float), but still very nice.

    I'm thinking I will try powder RIT for my next project in hopes that I can reduce the dye time.

  14. Magic
    Magic Well-Known Member
    Thanks. I would not have figured out that "cup" could be a normalized unit of measurement ;)
    I finally managed to find out a shop in France that can sell RIT (via internet though). I will try with that ASAP.
  15. euphy
    euphy New Member
    Hey Magic, I meant to follow up on this. I've had good success with jacquard dyes, but I have a very inexact process.


    Let the nylon stand in water overnight, then simmer with a bit of detergent for a few minutes. Then leave under a running tap for a few minutes to get a good rinse.

    Dye: I have a milk pan that I fill about 600ml for big things, but often use a little metal measuring cup that is 250ml for small things. Add a couple of glugs of vinegar (actually non-brewed condiment - so it's kosher too) - probably about 80-100ml for a pan of water. I use probably about quarter or half a level teaspoon of dye powder for a pan.

    Mix it up and dump the nylon in and simmer it, and come back every few minutes to turn it over. If it's determined to float, I drop a bit of perforated metal on it (it's actually the die from a potato ricer) to keep it immersed.

    Simmer for 10-20 minutes, or until it looks ok. Try rinsing a bit off under the tap to see what it's really like, and put it back if if it's not right yet. I found greens and pinks often looked great out the pan, but hardly any of the actual colour penetrated the plastic, so it almost all just rinsed off.

    Getting a light colour is a matter of dyeing for less time, rather than using less dye. Easier to control time than quantities. If in doubt, use more dye, and use more acid.

    Once it's cooled down, give a thorough rinse and a scrub with a toothbrush under the cold tap and leave to dry on paper towels. Sometimes there's a bit of colour comes off on the paper, sometimes not. Who knows why?

    I seal the pieces with future pledge afterwards too, to make sure it doesn't come off on clothes, or fingers, and to make it washable too.

    Sandy Noble
  16. stop4stuff
    stop4stuff Well-Known Member
    As 'inexact' as Sandy says his method might be, in person, Sandy's items look great, the colours are quite vivid.

  17. Magic
    Magic Well-Known Member
    Wow, the results are really great! Nice job!
    Thank you for your explanations Sandy.
    I will perhaps give Jacquard a last chance (probably with more powder this time).
  18. stefan_z
    stefan_z New Member
    Did anyone try ink-jet refill colors yet?
  19. stop4stuff
    stop4stuff Well-Known Member
    I'm pretty sure ink-jet refill colours are water soluble (fliers I used to put out door-to-door for a home business always ran if they got wet), not so good unless the ink is sealed after. WSF takes well to diluted artist's acrylic paint, which also seals as it dries.

  20. tebee
    tebee Well-Known Member
    I'm also in France, using Rit dyes, but buying them from Ebay in the US. Although the postage is more than the cost of the dye it still works out cheaper than buying locally made dyes that don't work as well. I've just paid 36 dollars for six packs of which €21.71 was postage. The dyes I can buy here are around 6 Euros a pack.

    I'm using one pack of Rit dye in just under a liter of water. I heat this in a stainless steel pan on an induction hob to just on boiling point. Turn it off then add what I want to dye. Leave for 40 mins (or longer) stirring occasionally.

    I then pour they dye back into a container - I use a plastic milk bottle using a largish funnel with a strainer ambivalence inside to catch what it is I've just dyed. I do this in the sink so spillages can be washed away easily. I then rinse the items, still in the strainer, under cold running water for a min or so.

    This causes some dye loss and it may be necessary to repeat the process, but if you don't do this you seem to sometimes get crusty bits when it dries. Then I leave the newly stained items in a stainless steel tray to dry.