The ideal dye for synthetic materials, such as polyester and acrylic
Disperse dye is the ideal fabric dye for synthetic materials.
Trial and error are essential because synthetic textiles can be among the trickiest to dye consistently.
The production processes for synthetic fabrics vary widely, and they are frequently treated to make them wrinkle-, odor-, or water-resistant. It is always worthwhile to test to ensure that you receive the outcome you expect because these variables, along with various treatments, all affect how a fabric might absorb dye.
Dyeing some synthetics, like those that are stain-resistant, will be exceedingly challenging.
The dye most frequently used to color synthetic fabrics after they have been produced is known as “disperse dye.” They can also be found in their own formulae, however, they are frequently found in multifunctional dyes like Rit, Dylon, and iDye.
Although these dyes are intended to be used with synthetic fibers, the wide diversity of synthetic fiber types makes it challenging to ensure a consistent outcome. For optimum results, search for a dye that says it is developed for synthetics while you are purchasing, such iDye Poly.
Pre-washing your fabric with washing soda will help promote good color uptake. It is a degreaser that will lightly abrade the fibers’ surface to allow dye to penetrate them. Heat can also help the color absorb more readily, but make sure to apply it according to the dye’s packet directions.
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We consult experts, friends, and family members who are also sewists, teachers, and/or craftspeople; we scour the Internet for information on how sewing supplies are used; we read customer reviews by real users; and, of course, we rely on our own accumulated expertise as sewists, teachers, and/or craftspeople.
Best Fabric Dyes for Polyester
Here are our fabric dye for polyester reviews
1. Rit 2492 DyeMore Advanced Liquid Dye for Polyester
This dye is formulated to work well with synthetic fabrics or synthetic fabric blends. It’s possible to dye polyester, nylon, acetate, acrylic, and more. The dye is great for bringing faded clothing back to life, changing a fabric’s colors, fixing stains or marks on clothing, and more.
- Synthetic fabrics can be harder to dye, so this dye has to be used on the stovetop to maintain heat throughout the dying process and cannot be used in the washing machine as other Rit dyes can
- This dye comes in multiple colors and there are tons of color recipes on Rit’s website for mixing dyes to produce unique colors
- This dye works best with over 35% synthetic content in the fabric
2. Jacquard Products iDye Poly Synthetic Dye Fabric
This synthetic fabric dye can be used with many different synthetic fibers. The dye will work well with polyester, nylon, poly/cotton blends, and will even dye some plastics. The fabric dye is vibrant and will dissolve in water. The dye does require a hot dyebath, which is common for most polyester and synthetic fiber dyes.
- Each dye packet weighs 14 grams
- One packet of dye will dye up to three pounds of fabric
- Comes in a variety of different colors
3. Tulip Permanent Fabric Dye
Tulip fabric dyes are permanent and provide solid coverage. The dyes come in a variety of different colors. While they cannot be used on fabrics that are totally synthetic, the dyes can work well on polyester/cotton blends. The dye works best with hot water and salt.
- The dye colors can be mixed together to create even more colors or custom colors
- One dye packet will make one gallon of dye and will dye up to half a pound of clothing
- Can be used to dye apparel items, accessories, or even items around the home like pillow covers or curtains
4. Dylon 87008 Permanent Fabric Dye
Dylon Permanent Fabric Dye can be used on many different natural fabrics, as well as cotton/polyester blends. The dye works well with hand-dying techniques and uses warm water. These dyes come in a variety of different colors.
- Each dye packet is 1.75oz
- The color is permanent and will not fade, even over time
- The dye is vibrant
5. Rit Dye RIT COLORSTAY
Polyester and poly blends can be hard to dye. Sometimes the dye will bleed or won’t hold fast. In that case, consider using a dye fixative, which can be used in conjunction with other dyes. This fixative helps prevent the dye from bleeding, and fading over time and can be used to enhance the color of the dye.
- This dye fixative can work with poly/cotton blends
- Use after the regular dying process to keep colors permanent and vibrant
- Can be used on many other fabrics including cotton, rayon, ramie, linen, and other blends that contain these fabrics as well
Fabric Dye for Polyester Buying Guide
Dying polyester can be a harder or trickier process than with natural fabrics. There are far fewer dyes that will work with polyester fabrics than with natural fibers like cotton. Some of the other dyes, depending on which brands they are, can work with polyester/cotton blends, but the success of the project would depend largely on how much polyester is in the blend. If you are uncertain, it is best to use dyes specifically formulated for polyester. Dye fixatives can also be used after the regular dying process to help colors stay permanent and not fade.
Most fabric dyes, even dyes specifically formulated to be used with synthetic fibers, are quite budget-friendly. Many dyes will dye two to three pounds of clothing per packet, while other packets will dye half a pound of clothing. These packets are usually quite inexpensive and dying one, two, or even three articles of clothing will often cost between five to ten dollars.
Many of the polyester dyes come in multiple colors. Colors can also be mixed for a higher degree of color matching, creativity, or customization. The fabric dye brand will often have a website with color recipes on it to help create the perfect shade or tone of color.