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How to Dye Acetate Fabric

Updated February 21, 2017

Acetate fabric is a delicate material made of a rayon mix. Dying this fabric is different than with other fabrics, because regular dyes don't take to the fabric as easily. It is still possible though, and if you have a piece of clothing made of acetate and you want to change out the colour, then you can do it with a few basic steps. The measurements in this article are for dying 0.454kg. of acetate fabric a medium shade, so adjust the measurements accordingly for larger or smaller amounts of fabric.

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  1. Put on the rubber gloves. Put a stainless pot on the stove and fill it with water. Heat the water to 60 degrees Celsius using the thermometer to check the temperature. Measure out 1/2 tsp of the soda ash with the measuring spoons and pour it into the water. Repeat for the 1/2 tsp of fabric detergent, such as Synthrapol, which is designed to remove excess dye from fabrics.

  2. Put the acetate in the water and stir it with a wooden spoon. Pour the water into the sink and rinse the acetate thoroughly with water.

  3. Pour 1 cup of water into a stainless steel pot and boil the water. Add 1 1/2 tsp of dye powder to the water, then stir it with a wooden spoon. Let the water cool down to room temperature and stir it thoroughly one more time. Put this pot to the side.

  4. Fill a different stainless steel pot with 2 1/2 gallons of water and bring the temperature to 37.8 to 40.6 degrees Celsius, checking the temperature with the thermometer frequently. Pour in 1 tsp of soda ash and 9 tbsp of white vinegar, stirring well after each component is added to the water. Add the dye powder and water mix you prepared in the previous step and stir it well with the wooden spoon.

  5. Put the damp acetate fabric from the second step into the stainless steel pot and raise the temperature to 96.1 degrees Celsius. Stir the acetate occasionally for 30 to 45 minutes. Take the pot off of the stove and place it to the side to let it cool to below 65.6 degrees Celsius.

  6. Put the stainless steel pot in the sink. Pour cold water from the tap into the pot and let it circulate through the pot to cool down the acetate quickly. Take the acetate fabric out of the pot and rinse it off thoroughly. Let the fabric dry naturally.

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Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Scale
  • Stainless steel pot
  • Stainless steel bowl
  • Disperse dye
  • Measuring spoons
  • Thermometer
  • Wooden spoon
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Fabric detergent for dyed fabrics
  • Soda ash

About the Author

Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.

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