Fabric Dye and Fabric Paint – Kits and Types
There are many different ways to dress up plain
fabric. Simple tie dye t-shirts kits can be
purchased with everything you need to create your own tie dye
masterpiece. There are plenty of other types of fabric dye to choose from if
you want a solid color or a more opaque look. If you want
to create a unique design on your clothing, a fabric paint can be used either freehand
or with a stencil. There are also
spray paints, dye markers and puff paints out there to give you just the
look you're going for on your next project.
Select the Right Dye for your Fabric
It's important to consider the fiber content of the fabric or
clothing that you are trying to dye.
Cotton, linen, and hemp all come from plants, and are called
"cellulose fibers". Use a fiber reactive dye with cellulose
Procion MX Dye line is a professional grade of fiber reactive
dye. These colors are very bright, and do not fade or bleed over
Dye Kits also usually contain a fiber reactive dye, since
t-shirts are usually made of cotton fiber. Fiber reactive dyes do
not use heat to set the dye.
- If using a fiber reactive dye, do not forget to also
ash, which you use when you presoak you fabric and it acts as a
Wool, alpaca, mohair, or angora all come from animals, and
are "protein fibers". Use an acid dye with protein
- Jacquard's iDye for Natural Fabrics is
specially formulated for both cellulose and protien fibers. It
comes in packets that dissolve in the washer with salt to easily
dye your natural fibers mess free.
- You can also use Dylon Permanent Fabric Dye,
though the color will not be as rich as with a plant fiber.
Polyester, nylon, elastic, rayon, and tencel are man-made
and are considered "synthetic fibers". These types of material are
difficult to dye or overdye, and we recommend using an all purpose
dye, and washing the item alone or with similar colored items after
it has been dyed.
- Rit makes
an all purpose dye that works with both natural and synthetic
fibers, and can even be used to stain wood! You can dye fabric or
clothing inside of your washing machine or in a pot on your stove
(but the pot is no longer foodsafe after it comes into contact with
dye). Also, darker colors of Rit work well for overdyeing garments
to cover up stains or make them a different color.
- Jacquard's iDye Poly is
specially made for synthetic fabrics.
Decorate Fabric or Clothing with Fabric
Textile Colors can be used to airbrush on natural or synthetic
fabrics. They do not harden on fabric, and leave the fabric under
the design soft and comfortable to wear.
- Draw a design directly onto a garment with 3D or Puff Paint. This type of paint
comes in squeeze bottles, and is a fun and easy activity to do with
each make a large assortment of colors, including neon, glow in the
dark, and glitter!
Simply Screen Print Paint comes in lots of colors, and is easy
to use and clean up. After you screen print a design, use an iron
to heat set the paint, and the design will be permanent. But if you
make a mess, simply wipe it up with soap and water.
- Paint, stencil, or stamp a design onto a garment with DecoArt SoSoft
Fabric Paint. After you have made your design, just let the
paint dry, and you're done!
- If you already have acrylic paint, just mix a textile
medium with the acrylic paint, and you will be able to use that
paint on fabric.
- Tulip Fabric
Spray Paint can be used for all over coverage, or to fill in a
stenciled design. Fun and easy to use!
- FabricMate Dye
Markers contain permanent fabric dye, but you can draw directly
onto fabric and simply let it dry for 24 hours to set the dye.
Fabric Dyeing Instructions
Here are some helpful links to instructions from the
manufacturers of various types of dye mentioned in this
Tips and Tricks to get the most out of your Fabric
While dyeing, add Synthrapol
to the dye bath to encourage dye to be evenly absorbed, if you are
immersion dyeing. Synthrapol can also be used to remove excess dye
from fabrics. Try using Retayne
to keep cotton fabrics from bleeding in the wash.
Fabric Dye and Fabric Paint Project
- Tie Dye sheets for play forts
- Use fabric paint and vegetable stamps on bags and t-shirts
- Use a fabric spraypaint over a stencil and embrace the
- Ombre Dye a t-shirt by lowering it into a bucket of dye every
Check out tutorials and get inspiration for dyeing fabric on
the Think Crafts blog!
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