Dyeing my car seat belts
  • I've just found your site. I haven't a clue about dyeing. Hear's my problem. My car has light grey seat belts. They are horrible. I would like them to be an electric blue colour, like lapis lazuli. I cannot dismantle the belts, and was hoping that I might extend them to the fullest extent, thereby revealing the majority of the belt, fix it in place to stop it retracting, and then apply a dye to the belt, perhaps by brush or a sponge and cream or whatever. Is this possible, and how successful will the result be? I hope anyone can help. Thankyou - Jason
  • Hi Jason,

    A good choice for this sort of application are our Dye-Na-Flow paints. They are a transparent, dye like paint that require heat setting only for washability. Because they will be in the car, which during the summer probably will achieve temperatures sufficient to heat set, even that won't be a problem.
    Dye-Na-Flow's transparency and flow-ablity make them a very good substitute for dye in many situations and perfect for something like this.
    Here is the link for the color chart: http://jacquardproducts.com/dye-na-flow.html.
    Keep in mind that because they are transparent the underlying color will influence the final color so you might want to do a bit of color testing on the most internal part of the belt before proceeding with the full paint job.

    hope this helps
  • Wow - great solution. Thanks. After thought = could I use a hair dryer to heat set, or are greater temperatures required?
  • Glad this helps.
    Hair dryers don't usually get hot enough to heat set the paints, but you could always add Air Fix to the paint if you are concerned about the setting. Air Fix is a product that is added to the paint which allows for setting without additional heat. Here's the link: http://jacquardproducts.com/airfix.html

  • crikey Annette, you're fast becoming a "Magic Fairey" - you have an answer to everything. Now that I have a big smiley face, can you answer me a "how long is a piece of string" question.
    If I add the Airfix and apply the Dye-na-flow mixture to my seat belts, on an average temperature day, say about 16C, how long will it take before I can allow the belt to retract into it's holding closed position? Thanks, Jason
  • Jason,

    I always wanted to be some sort of fairey!
    All you really need is to allow the seat belts to dry completely. At the temp you are expecting I would give them 12 hours to dry completely - just to be on the safe side. Painting in an afternoon and letting it dry overnight should be sufficient.

    happy painting!
  • Well, that's absolutely superb. A fountain of knowledge. I feel washed all over, and full of confidence to give it a try. The weather here is rather windy at the moment, so maybe I will send off for the stuff and try next weekend or the one after. I'll report back to let you know how I get on.
    Meanwhile, thanks very much indeed. You have been wonderful.
    Jason :)
  • My most humble pleasure! I look forward to hearing about your success!
  • Hi,

    I'm in the process of doing this exact thing to my seat belts with dye-na-flow but I've ran into a possible issue.

    I dyed the belts, dried them, then used a heat gun to heat set them. I washed them in a pretty concentrated bath of laundry detergent and then rinse them thoroughly and dried them. My concern is color transfer to someone's shirt while wearing the seat belt, so i tested this by taking a slightly damp white cloth and rubbing it against the seat belt. black came off onto the cloth, which means it would come off onto my clothes.

    What should i do to wash these belts better so the color wont transfer anymore?
  • Hi Jen,

    What really needs to happen is the Dye-Na-Flow needs a bit more fixing.
    Setting with heat gun is tricky as it can be difficult to thoroughly heat the fabric, especially on something as thick as seat belts.
    I recommend re-heat setting them using either your heat gun or an iron, and make sure your fabric is quite warm to the touch (almost too hot to touch), being careful of course to not melt the seat belt fabric...

    hope this helps
  • Ok. Is there a chance I heated it too much and it's flaking off? the color transfer seems to be more dust like and less color bleed. Also, i heated them to the point where it hurt to touch. I also ironed them before I heated them last night, washed again, but then they would bleed again while still damp. Maybe i used too much dye-na-flow.

    Is there a recommended temp to wash these in? I washed in hot.
  • hmmmm,
    I'm beginning to think that your fabric may have been treated with something that is preventing the Dye-Na-Flow from bonding to the fabric. The flaking make me suspicious.
    I'm not sure about the recommended temperature for washing seat belts - you might find something on the internet, but when in doubt I always go for cooler water.
    I'm going to recommend you let the belts simply sit for 72 hours - if you have a nice warm window ledge or other warm dry area in your home to lay them out for a few days that would be best. If you are noticing flaking of the paint at that point you might want to vacuum as much of that off as possible and then do your damp cloth test...
    let me know how it turns out!