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  1. #1
    Master BHUZzer Surida's Avatar
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    Can lycra/spandex be dyed?

    I have a bolt of white lycra/spandex fabric and have been wondering about sewing up some skirts, pants, tops and then trying my hand at batik. I know people have had luck dyeing cotton/lycra but haven't seen lycra/spandex. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated..g.:


  2. #2
    Advanced BHUZzer Jessani's Avatar
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    Re: Can lycra/spandex be dyed?

    Check out Jacquard acid dyes, if anything will dye spandex, that stuff will. According to their website the acid dye will color nylon spandex & is great for dying leotards...


  3. #3
    Advanced BHUZzer kemintiri's Avatar
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    Re: Can lycra/spandex be dyed?

    My dye-ing experience is limited, but here's what have learned on the topic. Hope it helps.

    -Whatever you do, try doing a swatch first. Dye manufacturers have a habit of promising the moon (in my experience, anyway). Mind you, with the advances in technology, it is entirely possible that a dye exists for it nowadays.

    Dyeing cotton spandex would dye only the cotton part, leaving white the stretchy material. It can give a nice effect if that's what you're after. Wasn't a uniform color though.

    -If you dye something and like the effect, you can rinse the fabric in cold water and vinegar to fix the color (check with manufacturer if using a new technology dye though...).

    -If all else fails, you can paint on your fabric instead.


  4. #4
    Master BHUZzer Souzan's Avatar
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    Re: Can lycra/spandex be dyed?

    Find out what the "ingredients" in your lycra fabric--nylon, rayon, polyester, etc and then search for dyes that work with those.


  5. #5
    Advanced BHUZzer _Tanya_'s Avatar
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    Re: Can lycra/spandex be dyed?

    Check this website. They sell dyes for almost any fiber, you can dye most anything with the exception of acrylic.


  6. #6
    Master BHUZzer Surida's Avatar
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    Re: Can lycra/spandex be dyed?

    Thanks everyone!

    Nayastrance and Tanya: Those sites are really helpful. Thanks! I just purchased a bunch of books on ebay this morning about batik and dyeing - can't wait to read up and dive in!

    I used to paint shirts years ago to sell to tourists here so that is an option also. Feeling creative!
    Last edited by Surida; 04-24-2009 at 11:15 AM.


  7. #7
    Advanced BHUZzer rscramer's Avatar
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    Re: Can lycra/spandex be dyed?

    I asked Jes about dying a beautiful white lycra dress and she directed me to Paula Burch's website. It had some great information about the different fiber contents and what types of dyes work with what. I chickened out after reading some of the information so I'd love to hear what you end up doing and what kind of results you get.
    FAQ: How can I dye spandex? How can I dye Lycra®? How can I dye elastane?


  8. #8
    Master BHUZzer Surida's Avatar
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    Re: Can lycra/spandex be dyed?

    Another great site, thanks! Wow the more you read about it the more complex the dyeing proces begins to look. Right now I'm going to gather info, read it, and then make an attempt later. When I do finally dive into this I will let you know how it goes.


  9. #9
    Master BHUZzer tigerb's Avatar
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    Re: Can lycra/spandex be dyed?

    Quote Originally Posted by kemintiri View Post
    My dye-ing experience is limited, but here's what have learned on the topic. Hope it helps.

    -Whatever you do, try doing a swatch first. Dye manufacturers have a habit of promising the moon (in my experience, anyway). Mind you, with the advances in technology, it is entirely possible that a dye exists for it nowadays.

    Dyeing cotton spandex would dye only the cotton part, leaving white the stretchy material. It can give a nice effect if that's what you're after. Wasn't a uniform color though.

    -If you dye something and like the effect, you can rinse the fabric in cold water and vinegar to fix the color (check with manufacturer if using a new technology dye though...).

    -If all else fails, you can paint on your fabric instead.

    I've been doing a lot of dyeing for several years now and I just want to throw this in:

    Vinegar does not fix all dyes.

    I've run into this a lot... people think washing clothes in vinegar will keep dye from running... will keep their tie-dyes bright... etc. etc.

    There are many dye-fabric combinations that vinegar (an acid) will have no effect on whatsoever, and there are many that vinegar might have an effect on if used at the correct temperature.

    There's even a situation in which it would be actually dangerous to use vinegar, and that's when you have painted bleach on fabric to create designs. Were you to rinse that in vinegar, you would produce dangerous fumes.

    So... this is just to say... vinegar is not the default. Choose a chemical to fix your dye based on the fabric content and dye type for the best results.
    Last edited by tigerb; 04-24-2009 at 02:14 PM. Reason: typo


  10. #10
    Ultimate BHUZzer ssipes's Avatar
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    Re: Can lycra/spandex be dyed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Surida View Post
    I have a bolt of white lycra/spandex fabric and have been wondering about sewing up some skirts, pants, tops and then trying my hand at batik. I know people have had luck dyeing cotton/lycra but haven't seen lycra/spandex. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated..g.:
    FYI Lycra is a brand name for spandex. Its synthetic stretchy stuff and is generally only 1-10% of the fiber content of fabric.

    As others have mentioned, you need to know what the other 90% or so is. If it is the sorta' shiny swimsuit-y kind of material it is probably nylon, and Jacquard acid dyes are supposed to work on nylon, though I have no experience with it. I purchase jacquard acid dyes from dharmatrading.com

    THe lycra/spandex part won't dye, which will make the overall dye result a bit weaker as compared to a fabric without it.


  11. #11
    Master BHUZzer Surida's Avatar
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    Re: Can lycra/spandex be dyed?

    I've always wondered what the difference was between lycra and spandex, thanks for the info. I have sewn alot over the years but have never really paid attention to fabric content. If I liked the fabric, I bought it! My white seems nylonish (if that's a word) it sounds like it would be smart to test a small piece rather than creating a piece of clothing and then not having things work out.

    I love Bhuz - everyone is so helpful and knowledgeable!


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