Dying Nylon Rope
  • I am having a great deal of trouble dying nylon rope. The colors just don't seem to hold. I originally tried "store" dye, that turned thing pastel colors. Then I tried Hot Fuscia acid dye. I prepared the 1/2 oz. of the dye according to the stove top method. I boiled 1 lb of 3/8" nylon rope for an hour, still no luck. As soon as I began rinsing, the color fade to a barely pink color. Any tips in this regard?
  • so, my nylon rope isn't taking dye 'cause of Global Warming? Um, anyone have a work around?
  • Hi Sharp,

    The atmospheric pressure over the Antarctica and the number of slugs in your garden may be contributing as well.
    Might also be the type of nylon from which your rope is made, however, lets explore.
    At the end of your hour of boiling was there still dye in the pot or had the dye bath gone 'clear'?
    Did you rinse with hot or cold water?
    Used vinegar or citric acid?
    Full boil for one hour?

    As for work arounds - you might want to consider Dye-Na-Flow. Not sure how much rope you're talking about here, but Dye-Na-Flow, as a very flowable paint, will brush onto the rope and because of its low solids will leave no hand. And, because it is transparent it simulates dye perfectly.

    look forward to hearing back from you
  • At the end of the boil, the water was not clear, it was very vibrant fuschia. I used 1/4 cup of vinegar in the bath. I brought the water to a light boil, added the dye powder, then added the wet rope, then stirred in the vinegar. I kept it at a medium (not full rolling boil) for the full hour. Do you think the temperature wasn't hot enough? I rinsed it with hot tap water. As soon as the tap water flowed over the rope, it washed the dye out.
    I will eventually need to color a few hundred feet in various colors (art installation). I really appreciate your help! (and thanks for deleting the huge global warming comment, lol)

    If I painted the rope, would it rub off on white fabric or other light coor paints?
  • Hi again,

    I think the water was probably hot enough - I think the problem is probably the type of nylon with which the rope is made. The fact that your dye bath remained vibrant fuchsia indicates that very little of the dye was actually absorbed by the rope. Some nylons seem to be much more resistant to taking dye, unfortunately.
    If you chose to use the Dye-Na-Flow you will have no problems with rub off. Normally one would heat set the paint for washablility, but if you are not planning on washing the rope that won't be necessary. You could add AirFix to the paint to ensure washability without having to heat set, it you feel that is necessary.
    One other option I did not mention earlier is our iDye Poly. This is a dye designed for use with polyester and nylon. There is a possibility that this dye could penetrate and dye the nylon where the Acid dye doesn't seem to be working.

    again, any questions - don't hesitate. (and as for the huge global warming comment - gah and a pox on all those spammers! - we have to be ever vigilant!!)

  • So, here is the update. I bought iDye poly in a number of colors from a local vendor. The rope came out perfect! Each of the colors is deep and solid. I would strongly suggest this product for anyone dying poly or nylon.
    A few notes: I dyed a poly nylon blend piece of rope as part of a test batch. (Home Depot variety) The rope came out two distinct colors, a patchwork of pattern as each fiber took the dye differently. For me this was a bonus but others might be negatively surprised. The 100% nylon rope came out with a beautiful solid color cast.
    The second note: this should be done outside if at all possible. I now have a faint (after using color remover to wash, repeatedly) pinkish cast to many of the plastic surfaces in the kitchen, the fridge handles, dials of the stove, and even the ac duct cover. I'll be using the turkey fryer or the burner on the BBQ grill to boil the next batches.
    The last note: if you are heat melting the ends of the poly blend or nylon rope to keep it from fraying, doing so AFTER the dye worked better for me. The rope with the ends melted prior to dye had the melted tips turn out a slightly lighter color than the rest of the rope.

    I'll be trying the Dye-Na-Flow on some wooden objects that go in this same installation. I want to have the color and wood grain and based on what I saw on YouTube, this product will do the trick. I'll let you know how they come out.
    Should I post a picture of the results? If so where on the site?

    Annette, thank you for the help with this!
  • Awesome! And thank you very much for the detailed notes - I will most definitly pass along your findings to our Customer Service.
    And we'd love to see some photos - the best place to post photos is at our FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/JacquardProducts