How to dye nylon and polyester fabric

Updated February 21, 2017

Dyeing fabric allows you to make it any colour you want. By mixing liquid, all-purpose acid dyes together, you also can create colours you may not find anywhere else. When dyeing nylon and polyester clothing items, always check the care instructions tags. To be dyed evenly and properly, an item cannot contain more than 49 per cent polyester.

Fill a bucket with 14 litres (3 gallons) of hot water. Pour in 120 ml (4 oz)of liquid, all-purpose acid dye. Double the quantity of dye and water if your fabric weighs more than 0.5 kg (1 pound) .

Soak the nylon/polyester blend in hot water, then place it into the bucket. If the fabric is too large for the bucket, pour the dyed water into a plugged sink and dye the fabric in the sink.

Move the fabric around in the dye water using an old spoon or a stainless steel spoon. The dye will stain a non-stainless steel or wooden spoon.

Keep the fabric immersed in the dye bath for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the item has reached the desired colour.

Remove the fabric from the bucket (or sink) and rinse it under warm then cool water. Once the water runs clear, squeeze out any excess.

Wash the item in warm water and rinse again in cool water. Dry the fabric in your clothes dryer. If the tag says "Dry Clean Only," hang the fabric to dry.

Things You'll Need

  • 120 ml (4 oz) liquid, all-purpose dye
  • Large bucket
  • 14 litres (3 gallons) hot water
  • Old spoon or 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.