Dyw cotton/spandex blend with black idye...?
  • I want to dye black a garment (a long, lighteight hooded coat, a teal version of this: http://fashionindie.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/031.jpg) that is a spandex / cotton blend.

    I've done quite a bit of research, and the general consensus seems to be that I should use an MX dye and that it should be done in cool water - but I simply cannot find the stuff anywhere in Melbourne, Australia.

    So I have a packet of iDye and also a packet of iDye Poly, because these seem to be the closest products available. What I'd like to know is if its possible to use this dye for this function, and if so, how should I do it?

    Unfortunately the garment doesn't say what percentage the blend is, but it feels like a soft, cotton with a bit of stretch. The instructions say:

    cool hand or gentle machine wash
    do not soak
    line dry without delay
    warm iron
    dry cleanable

    If anyone has advice I'd greatly appreciate it.

    Marcus
  • You certainly can buy Procion MX dye in Australia! Kraftkolour is an excellent dye supply house near Melbourne, and Procion MX dyes are among their products. They were closed for a while after the wildfires, but they're open now. They also sell by mail-order, as do several other dyehouses in Australia. Scroll down on my page, Sources for Dyeing Supplies Around the World, to the section on Australia, for contact information. You're luckier than most dyers, in having a dye retailer so close to you; most hand-dyers have to mail-order their dyes. You still might choose to use mail-order, for convenience.

    Don't use iDye Poly on a cotton/spandex blend. There's no point. Normally you don't even try to dye the spandex in a spandex blend, because the threads are spun in such a way that the cotton covers the spandex. (See How to Dye Spandex.) Even if you did want to dye the spandex itself, though, you would not want to use disperse dye, because the heat required for disperse dyes will damage the spandex fiber. The right dye to use on 100% spandex, before it is knitted into fabric, is a metal complex acid dye, such as the dyes Kraftkolour sells as "Premetallised Acid Dyes". However, the heat required to dye spandex fiber (60°C, or 140°F) will cause it to lose its shape, so you should dye it only before making it into fabric, not after it has already been blended.

    iDye will work to dye the cotton in your cotton/spandex blend, but it will require far higher heat than the spandex in your garment can tolerate. To follow the care instructions you quoted, you must use a cool water dye. iDye is a hot water dye. It's also less satisfactory than a fiber reactive dye, such as Procion MX dye, because direct dye is not nearly as resistant to washing and fading.

    My advice is to save your iDye and your iDye Poly for when you need to dye a cotton/poly blend, one with no spandex content at all. Go buy some Procion MX dye or Drimarene K dye to use on your cotton/spandex blend.

    Paula
  • HI, I Have purchased one of your Funky Tie Dye kits in Australia - and had great fun with the kids making t-shirts for Xmas. Now I can't get replacement dye for the kits. Retailers here are trying to sell me i-dye saying it works just as well and I can just put the i-dye powder in the tie dye bottles. Seems unlikely as the two fixing processes are entirely different. Can you advise?
    Thanks
  • No, you can't get acceptable results by substituting a hot-water dye such as iDye for the cool water Procion MX dyes in a good tie dye kit. If anyone tells you that you can, don't trust anything else that person has to say, either.

    To find a retailer that sells the Procion MX dyes you need, you can use Jacquard's Product finder, or look at the Australia section of my page of Sources for Dyeing Supplies Around the World.

    Note that serious dyers usually buy their dyes by mail-order. Some excellent sources for buying Procion MX dye by mail-order in Australia are Kraftkolour, the Thread Studio, and Batik Oetoro.

    -Paula