Tye-dyeing Jansport Backpack
  • is it possible for me to tye-dye a 600D Polyester backpack? if so, what dyes should i be using and what should i do for the best results?

    Thanks for the help!
  • Tie dyeing a polyester backpack with dyes is going to be incredibly challenging. This is because polyester requires dyes to be VERY HOT. You cannot tie dye in the traditional sense (with a squirt bottle) because the dye will not stay hot enough. You'll have better success dip dyeing your tied backpack. You'll want to use iDye Poly (http://jacquardproducts.com/idye.html), and you'll want to use it on the stove top at a rolling boil. Tie the backpack TIGHTLY. You can either dip portions of the backpack into the hot dye, or submerge the whole thing and then untie and retie it and dye it again in a different color. One concern I'd have is that backpacks usually have plastic pieces. These could melt if you put them in boiling water... Try to remove all plastic before dyeing...

    Another option would be to use a paint instead of a dye. Dye-Na-Flow (http://jacquardproducts.com/dye-na-flow.html) is a fluid textile paint that works well on any fabric. You can put this paint in a spray bottle or squirt bottle and tie dye with it in he traditional fashion. Once the paint is dry, you just have to heat set it for permanence. You can do this with a dry iron, a heat press or in an industrial dryer.... This will be much easier than using a polyester dye... I would recommend this route, as it will be far less challenging and probably much closer to the tie dyeing techniques you are used to...

    Good luck! Let me know how it goes!
  • Hi! I've finally gotten all my supplies and was just checking back to refresh my memory on what to do when i realized that my Jansport backpack has a thin coating of waterproofing. Because of this will i not be able to dye it with the Dye-Na-Flow that I bought or with anything at all?
  • You are right that the waterproofing coating on your backpack might present a real challenge. Dye-Na-Flow might just roll off of the fabric and be unable to penetrate. In general, water based paints do not work on hard or hydrophobic surfaces. I would recommend doing a test: paint a tiny portion of the backpack fabric and see how the paint performs... You might have better luck with a thicker textile paint like Textile Color (http://jacquardproducts.com/textile-color.html). Or you might be able to remove the coating with the right detergent and a hot wash (you'll have to talk to Jansport about that)... Unfortunately, waterproofed fabrics are not designed to be dyed or painted. So you are going to have to experiment...

    (By the way, one paint that definitely works on water proof surfaces is Pinata Alcohol Inks (http://jacquardproducts.com/pinata-alcohol-ink.html). These inks are superficial, however, meaning they just sit on the surface of the substrate, and they can be re-wet with alcohol, and are thus considered less permanent than textile paints. Depending on what you want to do with your backpack, however, this might be an option...)
  • I had great success tie dying a 55/45 blend by mixing idye poly and regular. It was complicated! I think it would work on 100% synthetic as well; you would use poly only. I did the spiral twist and applied dye solutions as with any dye. I placed the garment (scrubs) in a turkey roasting bag. Squeeze out the air and tie the top LOOSELY! (not a knot, just a loose twisty thing) Repeat. Yes, I mean double bag that stuff. I put a little water in the second bag for conductivity. This double bag mess went in a disposable roasting pan, immersed in water. Bake in oven at 350 for 2 hours. First time experiment, and it worked awesome. The dye actually came out much darker than I ever expected it could. The bag must be able to vent steam! Do not tie it tightly! I also let it cool overnight in the oven. Much of the red leached right through the plastic bag.
  • That is very cool, Kevin. Thanks for sharing! We love hearing about all the creative and innovative ways people use our products. If it works and it's safe, we want to know about it! Keep up the good work!