Tips on correctly using iDye colors?
  • I plan to dye some pure white sheets (a natural linen fabric, according to the manufacturer) a beige color. I picked up four packets (13 grams each) of Ecru color Jacquard iDye Fabric Dye.

    From what I've read, it's best to fill your immersion area (a stainless steel kitchen sink in my case) with very hot water (simmering temperate, not boiling), add the dye and stir, add salt (although I'm not sure how much) and stir, add pre-soaked linen fabric sheets, stir around a little (to help dye get between sheet folds, etc ) and leave to sit. After some time, remove and let dry.

    If there's anything wrong in these steps, let me know? How long should I leave the fabric in the dye/water solution? Also, is it best to air dry afterwards?

    Many thanks!
  • Am now thinking to use a large pot on stove instead of sink, so the temp can stay consistently hot?
  • Hi,

    I have used Idye in very hot water without the stove and it has actually worked pretty well. I have even dyed black this way. Black needs a lot of heat and is not a good one to do in the washing machine because it doesn't get hot enough.

    So I don't think it is a deal breaker at all, but the stove directions are the best directions. Salt is also very important if you want very intense color.

    Did your dye process not succeed? The biggest problems with just hot water in a big container are probably more to do with stirring. Stirring is more important if the water is not really consistently hot.

  • I haven't dyed the sheets yet, I wanted to get the green light from you that my step by step was the correct way to approach this?

    Also needed to know how long should I leave the fabric in the dye/water solution?

    Is it best to air dry afterwards?
  • 30 min is good time to let them go in the bath. Make sure when you stir and the sheets can move freely.

    I would use 2 cups of salt and add the salt after 10 min. So 10 without the salt, 20 with. No need to go over 45 min. It doesn't get a lot darker after that.
  • Thank you!
  • Am verifying that you do NOT need a mordant like salt with iDye POLY?? I use iDye Poly for poly velvet and was under impression there is no mordant or setting agent? Thanks.
  • That is correct. The poly dye acts in a completely different way than other dyes. Mordants are charged particles usually positively, that attract dye. Polyester dye has no charge, just an affinity for polyester and other synthetic surfaces. The dye intensifier is the "carrier" that helps the dye penetrate the fiber. So although it is not a mordant, it does some of the same job that a mordant would do in that it allows the dye to stick to the fiber better.
  • Is the intensifier necessary? I notice it changes the color so prefer not to use most of the time. Thx.
  • Intensifier is optional. I rarely use it, but it can deepen the color if you are not getting a dark enough shade. This is most important for stiff poly fibers. The softer poly fibers seem to take the color better. I don't think intensifier is good for nylon. Tends to make it too dark.
  • I am still concerned about the safety of idye poly since the smell is truly strong! I am wearing a mask, gloves and fan/open window. How do I soften the smell of the dyed fabric? I rinse and am trying to rinse in a lemon soap at the end. Any other ideas? thanks so much
  • You have stopped using intensifier? That is the strongest smelling component
  • I occasionally use the intensifier and agree about the smell. It sounds like it allows the fabric (velvet in my case) to adhere better? But optional right? I find the results hard to predict with the intensifier....what would you suggest. OK not to use? I believe you said before it is NOT a mordant and a mordant is not required?
  • It is ok not to use. On some polyesters it is more important than others. Softer polyesters that aren't stiff don't need is as much. It really isn't necessary with nylon either.
  • I tried today to dye a poly taffeta tomato red for a client. I tried with red, red plus orange, red plus crimson, red plus brown. I us d electric skillets to minimize the water. The colors looked pretty good in the pans but after cooling and rinsing so much dye came out and none were a tomato red. I did not use the dye intensifier because of the smell. Is there not a mordant (like citric acid with acid dyes) I could use to encourage more dye being taken up?
  • The dye intensifier is the only thing that helps the color. Personally, the red seems a little too brick for me. It is very tough to get a real tomato red.
  • any way to minimize or remove the smell?
  • I will be driving through Healdsburg on 7/13. Any possibility of meeting with you and showing you what I am talking about. This has been a multi year experiment with velvet and now taffeta and I appreciate your expertise!
  • I just used idye "true red" on some 100% cotton shirts, following washing machine instructions carefully. All items came out a bright, deep orange. So bummed. Now what? Do I need to remove the orange color to re-dye, or is there a way to move the orange to be more red?
    Thank you.
  • Hoping for some guidance from the pros here. While shirts were still wet last night, I put them through a full wash cycle with hot water and tide. Resulting color is salmon. It's a lovely color, but not what I was going for. Have hung to dry and am waiting to hear how to move toward something more like cherry red. Thank you.
  • You are using idye not idye poly right? I have had trouble with the idye poly red....see above for my tries for 'tomato red'. I have found that a good Santa or cherry red with idye poly is when I use alot of red and a small amt of black.
  • Thank you. Yes, idye for natural fabrics "true red" that turned out salmon. Just back from art store. I'm getting ready to try to move the color by adding some procion mx in fuschia. Stay tuned. :)
  • I may need to add a pinch of black in if comes out too light... thanks for sharing your experience with making red.