Today, a considerable percentage of all clothing contains a significant percentage of polyester, a synthetic fabric that does not react to most colorants like natural fibers. This probably leaves you wondering how to dye polyester, which could be how to dye microfiber for clothing.
In a nutshell, polyester must be dyed using disperse dyes and water heated to at least 200℉. This is because the molecules in polyester fibers are hydrophobic and cannot absorb water-soluble dyes. Disperse dyes exclusively color synthetic materials like nylon and polyester; they have no effect on natural fibers.
The tie-dying fabric has grown incredibly popular and harkens back to when there was plenty of sun, sea, and surf. However, today’s clothing differs significantly from that of the past.
Today, polyester, a synthetic fabric that doesn’t react to most colorants like natural fibers, makes up a large portion of all clothing. So you’re probably left wondering how to dye polyester and, if you’re dyeing microfiber for clothing, how to dye microfiber.
Polyester must be colored using a special kind of dispersion dye and water heated to at least 200°F. Polyester fabrics’ hydrophobic molecules prevent them from absorbing water-soluble dyes. Disperse dyes cannot color natural fibers; they can only color synthetic materials like nylon and polyester.
In our guide, you can learn more about dying such fabrics by using more options than just purchasing tie dye kits. You’ll learn how to use a fiber-reactive dye, and everything else needed. (Read Is A TV Considered Furniture)
Can You Tie Dye Microfiber Sheets?
While the above may lead you to think it is a clear-cut yes and no solution. There is more to it if you want to dye microfiber.
However, you must remember that “microfiber” only refers to the material’s structure and not its substance. Hence why you can tie dye sheets differently to t-shirts.
In general, microfibre refers to any fabric with a denier or dtex measurement of less than 1.
Therefore, microfiber is made from any material, including polyester, nylon, polypropylene, etc., can be created.
Therefore, the following would be the most appropriate response to the question, “Can you dye microfiber?”
If the substance used to create the microfiber textile can be colored, that specific microfiber can also be dyed.
Polyester is the most often used material for making microfiber clothing, and for a good reason.
Which Dye To Dye Microfiber Materials?
The substance used to make your microfiber textile has the answer.
For instance, polypropylene cannot be dyed since it is non-polar and has no affinity for any common dye class. There are ways to change it, yet this is beyond the scope here.
- Disperse Dyes: can color polyester microfibers.
- Acid Dyes: can dye nylon microfibers.
Tie Dying Microfiber
Choose the suitable dye and procedure to tie-dye polyester microfibers. And the correct dyes are disperse dyes.
Rather than dyeing polyester microfibers, you paint them. (Learn How To Remove Shop Vac Hose)
1. Tie Dyeing Polyester Microfiber with Disperse Dye
This procedure involves boiling your material in a dyebath containing dispersion dyes.
Follow color mixing principles to acquire the right shade. You can also use multiple colors.
These steps will help:
Multi-colored Tie-Dyeing of Microfiber
- Make a separate dye bath for every color.
- As the manufacturer directs, tie dye the microfibre in the first dyebath at boiling temperature.
- If you used rubber bands or another type of tie to finish it, remove them off afterward.
- Tie them now in an unfamiliar pattern.
- Put them into the second dyebath, which has a different hue.
- If you wish to add more color, repeat the process.
So, you might wonder how this works. First, the dye can’t saturate the tied area of the fabric. As a result, the preceding color stays present and thus giving you the appearance of several colors.
The third dyebath is when blended colors appear, so keep that in mind.
2. Tie Dyeing Polyester Microfiber with Crayons
This technique, called “Transfer Printing,” is a printing technique.
You need to purchase fabric-transferable crayons. Then, you can use those to make your paper artwork.
The design can then be transferred to the cloth using a heat press machine or a hand iron. First, pay attention to the required temperature.
3. Tie Dyeing Polyester Microfibers with Fabric Paints
This approach has recently gained a lot of popularity. However, the operating principles for printing are much the same.
These paints consist of pigments combined with an appropriate binder.
The binder fuses the pigments to the material by acting as a cross-linking agent. As a result, you do not need to add any electrolyte or fixing agent (soda ash) (salt).
Before using fabric paint, make sure it is suitable for synthetic fabrics.
You then have two options: either use the cloth as a canvas and paint your pattern on it with a brush or dunk it in the paint mixture.
If you choose the latter, you dilute the solution because the excessive viscosity will cause uneven coloring. (Read Do Ceiling Fans Reduce Humidity)
Problems with Dyeing Microfiber
Microfibers frequently make dyeing very tough. Their compact structure is primarily to blame for this.
The most noticeable ones are listed below:
- Microfiber is made from a compact structure with more filaments in a cross-section. Because of this, there is an availability issue for dyes and dye-related materials.
- Due to its larger surface area, microfibers dye faster, causing unevenness in coloring.
- Microfiber has poorer washability and lightfastness characteristics.
How to Dye Polyester With Rit
Here is a quick step-by-step guide for how to dye polyester using Rit dyes.
Note, regular Rit All-Purpose dye doesn’t work with 100% polyester. This is because the manufacturing process of polyester creates a synthetic material that resembles plastic. However, there are many polyester cotton mixes you can find and which can be more suitable.
In addition, Rit has a new disperse dye product, Rit DyeMore.
To prepare your object for a dye bath, you must perform some preliminary work, like with other undertakings.
- Wash your polyester material in soap and hot water to remove dirt and oil and help with sizing
- After that, wash the item in soapy water without the use of fabric softener or any other chemicals.
- Weigh the object on a kitchen scale to calculate the dye you need. For example, one pack of Rit can cover up to 2 pounds of dried cloth.
- Get gloves and cover the area with old paper or plastic sheets to finish preparations.
- Rit advises using three gallons of water for every pound of fabric, so you’ll need a large metal pot.
- Add one teaspoon of dish soap to the water after measuring the number of pounds of fabric you intend to color.
- Water is brought to a boil, so use a thermometer to check it is 200°F.
- Shake the packet of dye and add the Rit dye to the boiling water.
- Carefully add your fabric object to the boiling dye bath.
- Stir often for the first ten minutes, so you get even color.
- For at least 30 minutes, leave your polyester garment in the pot.
- Keep your pot close to the kitchen sink when you remove the item from the dye bath.
- To remove, hold it under the faucet using tongs to avoid scalding yourself.
- Rinse frequently in hot water, then gradually switch to cold water, repeating this process of rinsing your garment until the water runs clear.
- In the end, wash the fabric item in warm water in your washing machine and let it air dry.
How To Tie Dye Polyester
Polyester is more challenging to tie dye than natural materials like cotton knit.
If you take the following actions, you can tie dye fabric that is 100 percent polyester:
- First, pre-wash the item; you don’t need to dry it for these steps to work.
- Gather a few tufts or handfuls of the damp fabric and fasten them with a rubber band. When finished, these bunches create a circular, tie-dye design.
- Proceed with the steps above for the Rit dye procedure. It will mix water with your disperse dye powder according to the number of pounds of dry fabric you wish to process.
- However, only immerse a section at a time when your tie-dyed item is colored in contrasting colors.
- The last step is frequently to rinse the finished product in hot and warm water.
Why It’s Hard To Dye Microfiber Fabric?
Sun and other factors fade synthetic materials quickly. Natural fabrics absorb color better than synthetics.
Microfiber won’t dye easily. Microfiber is more challenging because of its small fibers and larger dyeing surface area. Dyeing here is complex and occasionally impossible.
Microfiber describes the fiber’s microscopic diameter, not its substance. Microfiber fabric is manufactured from either polyester, nylon, polypropylene, or other fibers.
You can only dye polyester microfiber fiber with dispersed dye. Other dyeing methods, such as acid dye, fiber reactive dye, or all-purpose dye, can’t attach to polyester fiber; therefore, they wash out. (Read Keep Spiders Out Of Garage Guide)
Disperse dye is applied to polyester fiber by boiling it with a dye carrier chemical or ironing on dye transfer designs.
1. Polypropylene Microfiber
This microfibre has fibers that are firmly bonded together. The polypropylene microfiber is virtually impossible to tie-dye due to the close nature of the fibers.
If you still want to dye the material, use a technique other than tie-dye. However, using other ways also requires a sophisticated dyeing process.
2. Polyester Microfiber
All forms of microfiber are pretty common, including polyester. Because of this, its dye is also widely accessible.
In particular, you can tie-dye this microfiber fabric using dispersed dyes. But remember that you must select dyes with a very high fastness level. You won’t obtain a favorable outcome if you don’t.
3. Nylon Microfiber
Nylon is a different form of popular microfiber. Additionally, clothing made of microfiber contains this material. It’s noteworthy to note that acid dyes can only be applied to nylon.
In a similar vein, acid dyes are required for proper tie-dyeing on all nylon fabrics as well as all types of microfiber. Additionally, you might think about selecting a dye with superior fastness capabilities.
If microfiber is constructed of nylon, acid dye, the same category of dye used on wool, and the best choice for dyeing the fiber.
You could choose not to dye your microfiber if it is made of another fiber, such as polypropylene. After production, polypropylene cannot be colored, unlike cotton, which can be dyed easily.
Please keep in mind that it is always crucial to test your materials on a small area of the cloth, whether you choose to use dye or fabric paint.
The two most common kinds of sheet sets on the market are made of cotton jersey and microfiber. A more recent variety of sheets makes the promise to be softer and more long-lasting than cotton sheets: microfiber.