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Shop Fabric Dye

Fabric Dye Information

What is fabric dye?

Fabric Dye is used to add colour to textile products like fibres and yarns. When applied to textiles, the special fabric dye solution creates a firm chemical bond between the fibre and colour molecules. This bond is so strong that it not only transforms the colour of the textile, but can also make it resistant to multiple washes and wear.

Different Types of Fabric Dye

Different textiles are made up of different types of fibre molecule structures, so in order to get the best possible results when dyeing, it is important to use a dye that has been specifically formulated to work on a particular fabric type.

For Dyeing Natural Fibres and Yarns:

(Including cellulose fibres such as; cotton, linen, rayon, hemp, ramie, lyocell (Tencel), bamboo etc and protein fibres made by animals such as; wool, angora, mohair, cashmere, as well as silk.)

Fibre Reactive Dyes
Fibre reactive dyes are the most permanent of all dye types. Unlike other dyes, the reactive dye molecules form such a solid bond with the cellulose molecules, that it actually becomes part of the cellulose fibre molecule itself. This means that it is extremely unlikely for reactive dyed fabrics to bleed colour, which make them safe for washing with other garments and extremely good at retaining colour.
At the Dye Shop we sell two types of reactive dye: Dylon Machine Dye and Dylon Hand Dye.
Suitable Fabrics: Natural fabrics such as cotton, silk, wool, linen, viscose and rayon.
Suitable Dyes: Dylon Machine Dye & Dylon Hand Dye

Direct Dyes
Direct dyes are a type of hot water dye that can be used on cellulose fibres and can also colour some protein fibers such as silk and wool. This class of dye only loosely bonds with fibre molecules through a process called substantivity. Substantivity is greater when the size of the dye molecule is increased, so direct dye molecules are generally quite large. At The Dye Shop we stock the full range of iDye Direct Dye, which come in dissolvable packets, that you simply drop into your washing machine or hot water bath. Direct dyes are also very lightfast, which means they are particularly resistant to fading in the light.
Suitable Fabrics: Natural fabrics such as cotton, silk, wool, linen, viscose and rayon.
Suitable Dye: IDye Natural

Multi-Purpose Dyes
Multi-purpose dyes are another type of hot water dye, that contains a mixture of dyes which will work on many different types of fibres and yarns. Multi-purpose dyes are particularly useful for colouring a blend of protein fibre (like nylon) with a cellulose fibre (such as cotton), as both fibres can be dyed the same colour, at the same time. Multi-purpose dyes are very versatile and perfect for quick and easy fabric dyeing projects. At The Dye Shop with stock both small sachets of Dylon Multi-Purpose Dye (in packs of three) and large industrial tins.
Suitable Fabrics: Cotton, linen, viscose, wool, silk, nylon and Lycra®(elastane), synthetic and natural fibre blends.
Suitable Dye: Dylon Multi-Purpose Dye

For Dyeing Polyester & Synthetic Fibres

Disperse Dyes
Polyester yarns and synthetic fibres can only be dyed with disperse dyes which are water-insoluble and made up of the smallest dye molecules. These dyes are finely ground and are available as a paste or a powder. When dispersed in water, the dye particles dissolve into the fibre molecules and insert colour into them. Disperse dyes work best when the dye and material are boiled, so the stove dyeing method is recommended for best results. At The Dye Shop we stock a large range of Idye Poly disperse dye in a multitude of vibrant colours.
Suitable Fabrics: Polyester, nylon, cellulose acetate, viscose, synthetic velvets, PVC, plastic buttons and fastenings.
Suitable Dye: IDye Poly

For more information about finding the right dye for a particular fabric, please see our Material Guide >>

How To Use Fabric Dye:

There are three main factors to consider when dyeing fabrics.

1. Type of Dye - Is the dye correct for the specific textile type?
2. The Temperature - Is the temperature optimal for enabling a firm bond between the dye molecules and the fibre molecules?
3. The Time - Has there been enough time for the dye and fibre molecules to bond?

The strength of a dye colour is dependent on the:
• amount of time in the dye bath
• absorbency of fibres
• original fabric colour
• concentration of the dye colour in the dye bath
• effective use of a mordant or fixative

For Instructions on how to use a specific dye, please click the links below:
IDye Dye Information >>
Tarrago Leather Dye Information >>
Jacquard Tie Dye Information >>
Dylon Multi-Purpose Dye Information >>
Dylon Hand Dye Information >>
Dylon Machine Dye Information >>
Dylon Leather Dye Information >>
Dylon Wash & Dye Information >>
Dylon Suede & Nubuck Dye Information >>
Dylon Washing Machine Cleaner Information >>