So confused. Need help dyeing a bathing suit
  • I am currently attempting to create a costume using a white bikini top that is made out of 80% nylon and 20% elastane a deep forest green color using an acid dye and citric acid. I bought extra fabric made of the same material and have been testing the dye on that material and it isn't working properly every time I try it the material comes out to a nasty grayish brown color once it even came out purple. I have followed all the instructions and I don't understand what I am doing wrong and what I can do to fix it.
  • It also has an underlying whiteness to it that just screams dyed fabric.
  • Hi Missy,

    ...yikes! Not sure just what is going on there. The first thing that comes to mind is that you've possibly purchased an old batch of the dye. Do you have the batch number from the dye you have? It would be near the UPC code - it is a stamped number.

  • It says dye lot # 25640 is that the number you are talking about
  • Yep, that's the number. And it doesn't seem that that is the problem as the lot number is fairly recent.
    So, some other ideas/factors would be the amount of heat you are using and how long the fabric is in the dye pot, also there is the possibility that the nylon that you are working with is one of the types that simply is difficult to dye with the acid dyes.
    Let me know what temp you are dyeing at - I'm going to talk to our chemist and see if he has any ideas.
  • Hi Missy,

    Another question for you - which specific dye color in the Acid Dye line are you using?

  • I am using 452 forest green. I have been leaving the fabric in for different amounts of time to see if that changes anything. I haven't been measuring the temperature though. Is there a specific thermometer I would use for that or would a meat thermometer work?
  • Thank you for the info, Missy.
    A candy thermometer would work best, most have actual temperatures on them.

  • Hi again,

    Just talked with the chemist about this. He tells me that you are going to have to bring the temperature to 212 degrees Fahrenheit and maintain that temp for the full dye time. See instructions here for more info: Poly Instructions.pdf
  • and just a caveat: elastane can be adversely affected by the high temperature so I would definitely test to make sure the fiber will hold up.
    If you discover that the dyes will not work there is one other possible method for coloring the fiber. That would be using the Dye-Na-Flow paints. They are a very flowable, very light handed, transparent paint. If this seems like something you'd want to pursue let me know and I'll discuss it in further depth with you.

  • I believe I would like to know more about the dye-na-flow paints.
    And thank you so very much for all your help.
  • Hi Missy,

    The Dye-Na-Flow are pretty awesome to use.
    Because they are so flowable they will spread through the fabric like water. I do recommend some practice. I find that working on damp fabric gives me the smoothest color. Dampening the fabric helps ensure that you are painting to a wet edge and also allows the paint to spread through the fabric more smoothly. I usually use a 3 or 4 inch foam brush to apply the paint, especially if I am trying to cover a broad area. Apply the paint in one direction and then while still quite wet, cross brush with a 'dry' (no added paint) brush to help ensure the even application. I'll usually work a 12 - 18 inch area at a time, moving quickly as I can to the next area to ensure I have a wet edge to work with. As you cross brush, return to the previous section to blend any edges that may develop.
    There are many colors to choose from and though we don't have a forest green the paints are very easy to blend and it should be quite easy to achieve the color you are after using one of the greens, maybe bright or emerald green, plus something like the the ocher or brown to drab it down a bit.
    There is more info here:
    hope this helps!
  • Thank you very much that is very helpful. Will I need to heat set it with an iron and if so will that damage the top?
  • Hi Missy,

    There are a couple of ways to handle the setting process. You can heat set with an iron using either a cotton setting with a cloth between the iron and the fiber or heat set at the temperature appropriate to the fiber for a longer period of time. Let the fiber dry for about 24 hours prior to heat setting. An other alternative is to use our Airfix product which is added to the paint prior to application. and allow the paint to cure for 72 hours before washing.