In the second of two posts we’ll look at how our nylon takes an off the shelf synthetic dyestuff and how it reacts when put through real world tests.

You may remember us posting some dye tests on Twitter a few months ago. They worked really well with a strong and deep colour imparted by every different dye in the Rit DyeMore range.

But what happens when you wash the material after dying ?

We ran two different post dye wash tests on samples from these same swatches.

10 minute blitz – excess detergent, boiling water and microwave for 5 minutes followed by a 5 minute soak.

The process was repeated for every colour, except neutral & graphite, and the results were as follows;

We combined the boil test of the neutral & graphite to see if we got any bleed over. We did.

Neutral black in wash water

In each picture below the right-hand samples are the original and the left and middle samples are the are the boil and machine washed samples.

As you can see all samples showed a diminution of colour saturation. The remaining water left in the bowls after each test confirmed that this was excess dye being removed from the surface rather than bleaching by the detergent.

The second round of tests on a fresh set of samples was carried out using a lower temperature (40C) conventional wash cycle but with added media to simulate wear (a bit like a stone wash). We bagged the samples together so that they would all get the same treatment and wouldn’t stick to the washing machine barrel.

The results were virtually identical to the 10 minute blitz test. Except that the neutral/graphite test didn’t show any dye transfer and some of the boiled swatches were a bit more curled than the ones washed at a lower temperature.

We repeated the 40C wash three times on the same swatches but saw no cumulative impact. Repeating the boil washes saw minimal discolouration left in the bowl but the colour saturation getting lower each cycle, suggesting that the detergent was having a bleaching effect.

Summary; cold water dying using Rit Dymore is effective and can provide attractive permanent colours in our nylon product. Though boil washing is not destructive mechanically it can re-mobilise dyes. No dyed product should be sent out unwashed, but a relatively low temperature conventional wash should be sufficient to remove excess dye remaining after the cold dying process.