Dyeing Clothes made from Polyester Fabric

Here we include tips on how to dye polyester clothing with Fibrecrafts Disperse Dyes and Jacquard iDye Poly Dyes.

Things to Consider when Dyeing Polyester Clothes

  1. Firstly you need to be absolutely certain about the type of fabric and select a dye which will work on it. Polyester has to be dyed using Disperse dyes in boiling water. These dyes are formulated to dye polyester or nylon but will not dye natural fibres such as cotton thread that may have been used to sew the garment.
  2. Patterns, stains, logos, bleach marks, and faded or worn patches may still be discernible after dyeing, even if dark coloured dyes are used.
  3. The base colour of the fabric will affect the final colour. Understanding colour theory will help you to understand what the final results will be. For example, dyeing yellow fibres blue will result in a shade of green. In addition, the end colour of the chosen dye colour will vary by how much dye is used and the length of time the fabric is in the dye bath.
  4. The fabric needs to be prepared for dyeing. This means that starches, sizing or finishes need to be removed from the fabric.

Dyeing Polyester Clothes that have been previously dyed

Fabric that has been dyed yellow will turn to a shade of green if it is dyed with a blue colour. The shade of green will vary depending on the shade of yellow and blue that are combined.

Polyester is a popular fabric for designers because pleats and shapes can be fixed in the fabric with heat. Dyeing polyester garments, such as the dress below, may alter the heat-set shapes because the Disperse dye needs boiling water to make the colour permanent.

Dye polyester blue dye on yellow

Mixing Dye Colours

Tie dye with 3 colours

This tie-dye shows how combining colours will create other colours. It is cotton fabric which has been dyed using Procion MX dyes.

Yellow and blue have combined to make green, blue and pink have combined to make purple, and yellow and pink have combined to make red. This colour theory also applies to disperse dyes when used on polyester and acid dyes when used on silk or wool.

If you would like to experiment with disperse dyes, undyed polyester is available from the website. The fabric is suitable for heat-moulding and 3D shibori techniques, or it can be painted using heat transfer paints which are made from disperse dyes.

Which Dyes for Polyester Fabric?

If you would like to dye polyester, George Weil sell Fibrecrafts Disperse Dyes and Jacquard iDye Poly Dyes. You will find colour charts on the website which are provided as an indication of colour.

Please note that as there are many factors to consider when dyeing ready-made polyester garments the end results are beyond our control.


Leave a Reply