How to Dye Nylon Spandex

Updated February 21, 2017

Nylon spandex is a fabric that is commonly used in sports and athletic wear. If you've had no luck finding a specific colour -- or you're trying to find spandex fabric that matches your team's colours -- consider dyeing your nylon spandex. Nylon spandex can be dyed almost any colour using an all-purpose acid dye, but there is one thing that you should keep in mind: nylon can be overdyed very easily. To prevent overdyeing your nylon, you will need to take special care in using only a small amount of dye.

Pour one tbsp of an all-purpose powder acid dye into a large bucket. You will need one tbsp for each pound of fabric that you'd like to dye.

Add three gallons of very hot tap water to the powder dye. Dissolve the powder by stirring it with a stainless steel spoon.

Soak the nylon spandex in warm water before dyeing. This will help to prevent colour splotches on the fabric.

Place your nylon spandex into the dye bath. Allow the fabric to soak in the dye bath for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring constantly to ensure even dyeing.

Remove the nylon spandex from the hot water and allow it to cool down for about 15 minutes.

Rinse the nylon spandex under cool, running water to remove any excess dye. Once the water has started to run clear, wring out the spandex and dry as normal.


Acid dyes can permanently stain your workspace and your hands. To prevent this, always cover your workspace with a plastic tarp or garbage bag. Also, make sure you wear rubber gloves and old clothing to prevent your hands and good clothing from becoming stained.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 tbsp powder acid dye for each pound of fabric
  • Large bucket
  • 3 gallons hot water
  • Stainless steel spoon
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About the Author

Andrea Griffith has been writing professionally since 2005. Her work has been published by the "Western Herald," Detroit WDIV, USAToday and other print, broadcast and online publications. Although she writes about a wide range of topics, her areas of expertise include fashion, beauty, technology and education. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and English from Western Michigan University.