Dyeing synthetic fabrics is a completely different process, so let me show you how I tie-dyed them using squirt bottles!
So let me start off by saying that I followed Rit instructions online for tie-dying synthetics (you can find that here). They recommend the immersion technique, but I really wanted to do like the traditional tie-dye with squirt bottles. So that is what I am going to show you here. Basically this is not a recommended method by Rit so just be aware of that lol. I have an idea now since doing this of why it is not a recommended method, so I will cover that at the very end.
Rit DyeMore Synthetic Fabric Dye
Synthetic fabric of choice
Protective surface cover
Some type of grate to hold up fabric
Pot big enough to warm up enough water
Candy Thermometer (optional)
So before you start anything make sure you have your fabric washed without using fabric softener Then fold, scrunch, or twirl it into whatever design you want and secure it with rubber bands. Next, make sure you setup your space to protect whatever surface you are working on. Since this is synthetic dye it will dye just about anything, including tile. I used just a simple plastic tablecloth and it worked perfectly.
So first you need to get your supplies setup and ready. While you are doing this start warming up your water and make sure to add a good squirt of dish soap (1tsp per 3 gallons). I did about 1 cup of water per color. I did 4 colors and that was enough for me to tie-dye 3 spaghetti strap 4T shirts with a little left over.
Make sure you setup the fabric on the grate. This will help hold it up and out of any extra dye the gets onto the tablecloth and will prevent colors from getting muddy. I just using a cookie cooling rack and it worked perfectly!
3. Water temp
Water temp is very important when dying synthetics. So when warming your water it needs to be just below boiling; when you start seeing the little bubbles form at the bottom that is when you know it is good. If you want to get technical it is (180 F). To make sure you maintain the water temp, I found that it was helpful to keep the dyes I wasn't using in a little crockpot warmer I had. You could probably keep the bottles in the pot on the stove, but just make sure the water doesn't get too hot or you will melt the bottles.
4. Mixing your dye
So here comes a little difficult part, getting that hot water into the bottles. I held the bottles with an oven mit over the pot and then used the measuring cup to pour the water into the bottles. My small bottles only held about 1 cup of water so I recommend getting a good size bottle if you can. Once you have the water in, add your dye. I am not much of measure person, so I just kinda eye-balled it. It should be about 1tbls per cup of water. Put on the lid and shake up.
5. Lets get dyeing!
Make sure you have your rubber gloves on and grab those bottles. This part is just like traditional tie-dyeing, so just start squirting the dye on in the pattern you want. Make sure whatever color you are not using is sitting in the warm water to keep it to temp. These bottles are hot, so make sure you take precautions!
Oh just look at those close-up shots! So pretty!!
6. Waiting and Rinsing
So I basically just waited until the fabric cooled off, about an hour or so, and then went about rinsing out my fabric. Keep your fabric rubber banded together and start to rinse in warm water. Gradually go to cool water. Once the water ran clear, I removed the rubber bands and then ran in cool water some more until I was sure I had all extra dye out.
7. Drying and Cleaning
Once I had all of the extra dye out, I let my fabric sit and dry. Once dry, I then washed it in warm water and detergent. I noticed that synthetic dye does not bleed onto other fabric as badly as regular dye does, so that helps keep bleeding to a minimum.
You are all done! Now is the time to enjoy your creations. These honestly turned out so good! Now I will say that the immersion technique does provide some darker color payoff, but this technique still has some beautiful results.
Now let's see what our little model thinks:
Isn't she so cute in these! Honestly I probably will not do traditional dying again. Like I mentioned, the bleeding was so minimal that it really is worth it even with the extra steps.
But now... my precautions. This water is hot. The water is just hot enough that you cannot hold the bottles without some type of rubber gloves. It also made the bottles very flexible, almost to the point that it melted the bottles. Any warmer and I am almost positive that it would have.
So just keep that in mind when doing this.
Sound off in the comments below if you are going to try this out! And let me know if you have any questions!