I’ve been told that polyester is super hard to dye, but I’m stubborn and have a bunch of white double brushed poly, so I decided to try anyway.
Unlike my other dyes which have been done by the yard, dyeing before I cut my pieces to sew, I decided to sew these pieces first so I could attempt an ombre dye.
The patterns I chose are the Rainy City Essential Dress and the Max and Meena Bitty Bubble Romper. Sewed the complete pieces to pattern specifications but did not hem or add snaps because I was worried about dye pooling and making darker spots with those added.
For my first attempt I used Rit DyeMore for synthetic fabrics. I purchased it in Walmart, hidden in the craft section even though the other Rit Dyes are in the laundry section – which threw me off.
I prepared my dye bath much stronger than recommended. I think the Rit website suggested 5 gallons of water per bottle of Rit, but I used two gallons of water and one entire bottle for my bath because I wanted rich colors. Per a suggestion on the Rit website, I added a squirt of dish soap to the bath.
I brought my dye to a simmer and used photography clamps to hold the parts of my dye that I wanted lighter out of the water. I started by dipping just the bottom in the bath for 5 minutes and then lowered a bit more in for another 5 minutes. I did this 4 times until the pieces were completely submerged, hoping that the bottom would be much darker than the top because it had soaked 4x as long.
I rinsed my pieces in hot water in my tub until all the dye had run out, then threw them in the wash on high heat with detergent.
Surprisingly, the dye took great and they came out darker than expected! But the dye was pretty even and you reeeeeally had to squint to tell that the bottom was darker.
They came out pretty friggin’ purple for a color called “Really Pink”.
After much complaining and many curse words, I went back to walmart and got some more DyeMore in Sapphire Blue. I repeated the whole process, but this time I dipped the very bottom for about 15 minutes, and then to about 1/2 way up for an additional 5 minutes. I LOVE the result of the two colors together and it came out better than what I had pictured in my head for the initial one color ombre.
I love the subtle water color textures! And so did my customers. The dress sold within minutes of adding it to my website! Plus I received several requests to do more in additional colors.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried dyeing poly, and what your results were! Love the look but dont have the time to make your own? Shop my website for ready to ship items.