Fabric Content vs Fabric Name
It is important to know what fabric you are working with before you dye! Fabric content, weight, desired dye colour intensity and dyeing method are always the starting point of every project. Tintex dyes most washable fabric (ex: cotton, linen, silk, wool, nylon, acetate, rayon, viscose and spandex). For best dyeing results, all fabric must be compatible with our dyes.
The textile (fabric) name can be very different than the fabric content. A name can describe the fabric weave (ex: plain, satin, sateen) or the appearance of the fabric (ex: crepe fabric). If you only look at the garment (ex: spring jacket, bodysuit or cocktail dress) without thinking about the fabric content you may get unexpected results -- if you don't test before.
The actual fabric content can vary from natural, synthetic or a blend of both (ex: 'satin' could be made of: silk, a silk-blend or even polyester). If you are dyeing fabric (ex: clothing, napkins, placemats, towels or bed linens etc.) look on the care label to find out what the fabric content is. It is often located behind the designer tag on the back or on a separate tag on the side seam.
If your item is missing a label you may have to guess by conducting a test, or using the fabric hand or price to help you determine the fabric content (ex: linen napkins are more expensive than polyester and have a completely different hand).
To get the best dyeing results the amount of product needed varies by fabric content. Use one 55g box for 1-pound (454g), of cotton, linen, silk, spandex & viscose; use two 55g boxes for 1-pound (454g), of nylon, acetate, rayon & wool.
Common Natural Fibers Tintex Dyes:
- Cotton -- cellulose based
- Linen -- cellulose based
- Silk -- protein based (silk charmeuse, silk chiffon)
- Wool -- protein based (crepe, merino, jersey, worsted)
Common Manufctured Fibers Tintex Dyes:
- Rayon -- cellulose based; semi synthetic product (lightweight and has a soft drape)
- Viscose -- cellulose based; semi synthetic product (lightweight and has a soft drape)
- Acetate -- cellulose based; semi synthetic product (similar appearance to silk, soft or crisp, nice draping abilities)
- Nylon -- polyamide based (similar appearance to silk)
- Spandex --polyurethane based (very stretchy and soft)
*100% Polyester or 100% Acrylic cannot be dyed using Tintex. Fabric blends of polyester or acrylic are dyeable, but the majority of fabric content must be made up of dyeable and/or suitable fabric content.
Familiar Fabric Names
Cashmere: made from soft fur from the kashmir goat; dye as you wood wool.
Crepe: fabrics that have a textured or fine pebbled surface; could be natural, synthetic or blends.
Chiffon: lightweight sheer fabric with a plain weave. The alternate S and Z twist crepe yarns give it a a rough feel. It can be made with natural fibers (cotton or silk) or synthetic fibers (nylon or polyester).
Denim: twill weave used for cotton fabric (synthetics can be added for stretch) where one color shows more on the surface, can shrink or darker colors can bleed.
Lace: fine fabric created by delicately looping pattens on an open or net base, can be made with natural (cotton) or synthetic (polyester) fabric.
Muslin: a lightweight plain weave cotton fabric that is cream, ivory or off-white. Designers often use muslin to drape or test patterns before using on to their real fabric.
Satin: has a glossy appearance from longer interlacing between interfacings of warp and weft filament (silk or polyester) yarns.
Sateen: spun yarns (cotton or linen) get a glossy appearance when woven in a satin weave structure
Ultrasuede: suede-like textured manufactured fabric made from non-woven (polyester), not suitable to dye with Tintex due to the high polyester content (could dye very light or not at all).