IDye Poly Purple turned my polyester pants green/grey!
  • I dyed some pants that were labeled "100% polyester" with IDye Poly purple. They came out a light green/grey. A small piece of muslin that was in the pot (I put several mystery fabric scraps into the pot to see what color they would turn) came out light green. I am not sure if the muslin was 100% cotton. Other fabric scraps in the same pot came out dark or light purple. A polyester-polyamide-cotton shirt came out a very pretty medium-light purple. I am mystified about why the pants and muslin turned green, but I have a few guesses.

    1. Too many items in the pot.
    2. The pot was chipped enamel--could the exposed metal change the chemistry? (But then why would some of the fabric turn purple?)
    3. The pants are mis-labeleld and are some other kind of fabric.
    4. The pants looked light purple until I rinsed them in cold water. After I put the pants into the bucket of cold water, I added some synthrapol detergent. At the same moment I added the detergent, I noticed that the pants looked green. I didn't seem like enough time had passed for the detergent to disperse through the water, but is it possible that synthrapol reacted with the dye and changed the color?
    5. I simmered the pants for 30 minutes, at a very low simmer. Maybe the water should have been at a full boil?
    6. Some of the items in the pot had previously been dyed with Deka or Dylon dye for natural fabrics. Could those dyes interact with the IDye Poly and change the color?

    If anyone has any explanation, I'd love to hear it!
  • Hi Nema,

    Wow, you had a lot going on in that pot! My first guess would be that there was too much competition for the dye and your pants got the short end of the stick. The other thing would be that the temperature needed to be higher.
    You didn't mention what color the pants where when you started...
    Interesting mystery...

  • Hi Annette,
    Thanks for answering my question! Yes, there was a lot in the pot. Sometimes I do too many things at once. The pants started out red and white checked, like a picnic tablecloth. The white parts turned light green-grey, and the red parts got a little duller, but still red. After I wrote to the forum, I re-read the directions on the IDye Poly. Nothing like following directions! It said right there to boil the clothes, but I had kept them at a low simmer. I re-dyed them with more IDye Violet, (it was Violet the first time, too), boiling them for 1/2 hour, and the pants came out very dark purple, but I can still see the checked pattern. They look nice. After the pants were done, I put a blue silk slip with poly lace trim into the pot, hoping that only the trip would get dyed purple, but the whole thing came out dark purple. I noticed that the tags on my clothes came out a lovely bright, lighter purple--I think the tags might be made of nylon. Can't wait to do more dyeing.
  • Hi Nema,

    Thanks for the update!
    It is pretty interesting to watch how different fabrics take the dye - even those that are the same content (polyester, for instance) will take the dye differently, depending on just what the poly content is - makes for exciting discoveries along the way.
    Have fun!