FAQ: Frequently asked Questions
  • These are some of the most common questions we get.

    1. Is it ok to use any dye on any fabric? Dyes are usually very specific to the fabric. Acid dyes(silk colors) for protein fibers(silk, wool, nylon), Procion for cotton, and Idye covers all natural (Idye natural) and synthetics (Idye poly, pet, nylon) so it is the most widely applicable, but also the Natural Idye is the least permanent of any of these dyes(fastest working shortest lasting).

    2. Why do you have so many lines of paint? We have 4 lines of paints that are for different purposes: Dye-na-flow is a bodiless watercolor-like acrylic for situations where you need to dye something(and for it to be soft) but dyeing is impractical. Textile is a bodied paint that feels very soft and transparent and is best suited to fabric. Lumiere and Neopaque are the heavy hitters with maximum coverage(opacity), durability and adhesion on most surfaces, but they do have a heavier feeling on fabric.

    3. Why not always use Idye instead of Procion mx since it is easier to use? Procion is a fiber reactive dye that chemically bonds to cotton and can be used in cold water. It is among the most lightfast and washfast of dyes. Idye natural needs heat, 180 degrees for best results. It is a direct dye which is fast and gives very even color, but it is only stuck in the fiber so it is more likely to both fade and wash out. Procion can be used for Ice dyeing and in squeeze bottles for tie dye. Idye natural will turn out very pale in these colder applications.

    4. Can I use Idye poly in the washing machine? The water in the washing machine does not reach boiling, so it is not hot enough for Idye poly. In the machine it will stain any plastic portions of the washer(and can be transferred to polyester clothing at a later date) and while the dye looks like it works, it will rub off on other clothing and wash away next washing.

    5. If I have a mixed blend fabric, do I need to dye one fiber 1st and the other one 2nd? No, you can use the Idye poly with other types of dyes, but you must adhere to the poly temperature. You can mix procion, acid dye, or Idye Natural in the same pot for a mix blend garment and dye all threads simultaneously. The poly does not react with the other dyes, so it will dye the poly portion and the natural dye will dye the natural portion. Soda ash and vinegar do not affect Idye Poly’s performance. You can choose the same color for poly and natural, or you can choose similar or disparate colors of your choice. Idye poly will dye the poly portions and the natural dye will dye the natural portions.

    6. Can I dye a dark garment a lighter color? No, you cannot. Dye colors mix perfectly and transparently. If you dye a blue shirt yellow it will be green. Removing color on natural fabrics is fairly easy with our Color Remover or even bleach(can damage fabric). Color on nylon can be removed, but removing color from polyester is extremely difficult. For natural fabric, pink to red transitions are easy as are blues to green. Black to red or purple to yellow type of transitions must begin by removing the original color. Dyeing darker is always easier than lighter.


    7. Do I need to heat set my fabric paint? In general the answer is yes. Iron at the appropriate temp for the fabric you painted on. However, Lumiere, neopaque, and the JSI professional screen inks all self-cure in 72 hrs and a heat set is unnecessary. If airfix is added to textile, airbrush, dye-na-flow or versatex, it too will set by itself in 72hrs. Airfix can now be added to the entire bottle and will keep indefinitely until you use the paint.

    8. What can I add pearl ex to? Pearl Ex is completely inert, neither water nor oil based. It can be added to paints of all kinds, resins, wax, polymer clay, concrete, glue, and just about any other medium you can think of. Pearl ex itself has no binder, so it only sticks if you apply it with some kind of “glue” to hold it onto the surface.

    9. Do your paints stick to leather? Lumiere, Neopaque, Airbrush and Jacquard Professional Screen ink all stick very well to leather with nice flexibility and no cracking. Textile works to an extent, but is not as good as the others in terms of adhesion. On absorbent leather, dye-na-flow is really excellent, especially on suede.

    10. Do I need to use soda ash with Procion MX. You will get results without soda ash, but soda ash makes procion over %100 percent brighter. That means more than twice as vivid, which is a big deal. The soda ash raises the pH of the dye bath and acts as a sort of chemical sandpaper that gives some tooth so that the dye can latch on and hold permanently. HIGHLY recommended. Soda ash will spoil a dye bath after about 5hrs, so you only want to add it when you are ready to dye. This is it is better to pretreat a shirt with soda ash when you are tie dyeing rather than adding it to the dye.