Can I use iDye for tye dying????
  • Hi,
    I recently purchased the tie dye kits and had some brilliant results so decided that tie dye shirt for neices and nephews are on the list for xmas presents. I went back to the shop and proceeded to purchase 6 different colours of iDye to which the sales lady assured me I could use for tye dying. Anyway I get home only to find out that there are no instructions re mixing for the tye dye bottles on how to use in the washing machine etc. If anyone knows how much powder to water ratio for tye dying and if using the iDye is possible for this process I would greatly appreciate any advice.
  • iDye is a type of direct dye, which is a hot water dye. It's not suitable for the type of multicolored cool-water tie-dyeing you've done before; your sales person lied to you. The iDye she sold to you is designed for immersion dyeing a single color. What you wanted to buy, the type of dye in the tie-dyeing kit, is Procion MX type dye. Some crafts stores carry individual colors of Jacquard Procion MX dye. Some others carry Tulip brand dyes of the same type of dye. You can also buy Jacquard Procion MX dye by mail order.

    To tie dye with direct dye, you can tie your fabric and then drop the tied items into a simmering pot full of dye mixed with water. This is the original form of tie-dyeing, but the results are much less exciting and colorful than those you can get with a modern tie-dyeing kit. For multiple colors, you remove the fabric from the dyebath after half an hour, rinse it out, tie, and then repeat with another pot full of a different color of dye. Alternatively, you can apply the dye where you want each color, and then steam the dye by wrapping the fabric up in unprinted newsprint and steaming it for half an hour over boiling water, just as you steam vegetables, but this still will not give as good results as the tie-dyeing you did before.

    Once you're done, you'll have tie-dyes made with relatively poorly washfast dye. No direct dye can be nearly as bleed-resistant as the Procion MX dye in a good tie-dyeing kit. The bright colors will tend to bleed onto each other; when opposite colors bleed across each other, you end up with dull, muddy colors. A good cationic dye fixative, such as Retayne or iDye Fixative will stop the problem of dyes fading in the laundry, but can't keep the different colors on one garment from muddying each other when you first apply it. You can see why direct dye is more suitable for dyeing solid colors.

    If I were you, I'd save those iDye dyes for doing solid colors, or return them for a refund from the store whose employee lied to you. If you're in a hurry and can't find Jacquard or Tulip Procion MX type dyes at your local stores, you can mail-order some good Procion MX dye from a supplier that does overnight shipping. (Dharma Trading Company is one.)

  • This is exactly what happened to me as well. The shop assistants have been told that these dyes will work as well as the Procion ones. Even the Head Offices of two major retailers believe this to be the case. Luckily having read the processes for both i-dye and the tie dye kit, I was doubtful that the process would work in the same way. Does any one know where Procion can be bought over the counter in Victoria, Australia? Thanks
  • Most of us buy our dyes by mail order. Look for a local dye retailer or mail-order supplier by using Jacquard's Store Locator, or see the Australia section of my page Sources for Dyeing Supplies Around the World.

  • Hi, what dye would be best for a 50% cotton , 50% poly blend? Thanks
  • Hi Paula,

    If you are tie dyeing you'll have to use Procion MX dyes.