Dyeing jeans advice?
  • I am need of some advice for a craft project I've been pondering...
    I have a pair of dark wash factory faded jeans (American Eagle Hi-Rise Jegging in Dark & Story Wash) and I would like to dye indigo, so they're more of an allover deep blue/gray/navy colour. The jeans are a 65% Cotton, 23% Viscose (rayon?), 11% Polyester, 1% Elastane blend. I was thinking of using Jacquard Procion dye with soda ash as a fixative, as I've had excellent luck in the past with that on natural fibers. I get that the 11% polyester won't dye unless I were to boil it (I hate the smell!), but otherwise would this seem a successful project? It would be alright if they were still a bit faded in the end, just as long as they are significantly darker.
    I was thinking of using one bottle of blue and one bottle of black to achieve this effect, and of course the easiest method - washing machine!
    Thanks in advance for any comments :)
  • I don't think the 11% is an issue at all. I doubt you will even be able to tell.

    I think this method is fine, and you are right, it will dye the rayon as well. The only issue I have is that the black may not get as dark as you want. Black often needs some heat to work, so even though procion is a cold water dye, use as hot of water as you can. I tell people, run the tap until it is hot. then turn on the washer. That will make sure hot water is the first to fill the machine.

    Also i would consider stopping the cycle when the washer is full in order to allow more time for the procion to react. It is a slow acting dye so letting it soak for 30min or more is a good idea.

    You should use soda ash as well of course any time you use procion.

    Another way to do this is with the Idye. It is made to use in the washing machine and is great on natural fabrics. It is a faster acting dye, so it is ideal in the machine.

    The third way to do it is to actually use real jeans dye. Our indigo tie dye kit has real indigo in it, and that can be mixed up and it will dye the jeans in a bucket. All you have to do is dip it and then let it breathe in the air. Oxygen in the air turns the green dye to blue and then you either dip again to get it darker or rinse and you are done. You can dip and dip and dip until the jeans are as dark as you want.

    As for the poly dye and the smell. You can prevent that by not using the color intensifier. That is what smells bad. It does help achieve darker colors, but it is not absolutely necessary.
  • Thanks for the post, I too was thinking of dying my jeans.