How to Dye Acrylic Yarn and Fabric
Last Updated: Oct 12, 2020
If you want to dye acrylic at home, that will not be a good idea. The acrylic dyeing procedure is not as easy and safe as wool dyeing. For absolute beginners who are looking for a one-time solution, I always suggest them to select the best paint to use for clothes rather than dyeing it. I will discuss how to dye acrylic later. But first, let’s learn something about acrylic fiber.
It is an important synthetic fiber produced from polyacrylonitrile by addition polymerization in which the monomer is acrylonitrile.
Commercially, most of the acrylic fibers are copolymers of acrylonitrile and monomers of vinyl compounds, for example, vinyl alcohol, acrylic acid, vinyl chloride, vinyl acetate, methacrylic acid, methacrylate esters. It is done because homopolymers are very difficult to dye. The acrylic fiber is negatively charged.
According to the definition, they can be divided into two.
Commercially, acrylic fiber is found in the name of Acrilan, Orlon, Dralon, Courtelle, Nitron, and Leacryl.
Acrylic fiber possesses the least breath-ability, so they are very much preferred for heat-retention garments.
Acrylic fiber is commonly used in sweaters, hoodies, gloves, athletic wear, carpeting, boot lining, blankets, upholstery, etc.
Two types of dyes can be used for acrylic dyeing.
|Disperse Dyes||They exhibit low affinity towards the fiber and only suitable for pale to medium shades.|
|Basic Dyes or Cationic Dyes||The most widely used and suitable type of dye for acrylic dyeing is basic/cationic dye. They can produce dark and deep shades exhibiting great fastness properties.|
Now, if you want to dye at home, I will suggest you to use disperse dyes rather than basic dyes. You can ask me why?
Firstly, the acrylic dyeing procedure with disperse dyes is easy and simple. The process is as follows –
Secondly, disperse dyes are reasonably non-toxic whereas basic dyes are not.
But, there is a major disadvantage of using disperse dyes. And that is the fact that you can not produce intense and deep colors.
If you want to produce deep colors such as black, navy, etc., what will you do?
Then, you must use basic dyes. Let’s talk about the steps for dyeing acrylic yarn or fabric with basic dyes.
The following question may come into your mind.
I am answering this ques with the mechanism of the dyeing. It is a three-step dyeing.
Due to this strong bond, they show great wash fastness properties.
The main disadvantage of basic dyes is their toxicity. Some basic dyes are carcinogenic. If you have to use basic dyes you must follow the safety precautions provided by your dye supplier. Another thing is that basic dye may color your dye-pot and anything they get in contact with.
Washing is a very critical stage in acrylic fiber dyeing. You should adhere to the following washing instruction for acrylic dyeing.
You should keep in mind that both hot and cold water may harm the acrylic fabric. Washing acrylic with warm water is most preferable. Washing in cold water may make the fabric inflexible and firm. Washing in hot water may damage and melt the fabric.
Acrylic fabrics are prone to pilling more than other fabrics. So don’t wash your acrylic fabric or garment with other fabrics that don’t have the same or a quite similar color. Otherwise, your fabric will be covered in pills.
Uneven dyeing may occur if the initial exhaustion of the dye molecules is uneven. So, it is very important to control the initial rate of exhaustion/strike of the dye molecules. This is done by the retarder.
Two types of retarders are available.
They tend to retain the dye molecules in the dyebath at the initial stage of dyeing by creating a complex with them.
In the ion-exchange dyeing process, the anionic retarder competes with the dye molecules for the ionic sites in the fiber at the initial stage of dyeing.
A suitable retarder will provide uniform level dyeing along with allowing the full saturation of the dyeing.
As you have probably noticed by now, disperse dyes are the best choice for dyeing acrylic because of its easy application process and non-toxic nature. Whereas, basic dyes should only be selected when you need to dye deep shades and toxicity isn’t a concern for you.
Well, that’s all for this post. We hope now you know how to dye acrylic yarn or fabric with both disperse and basic dyes.
|TABLE OF CONTENTS|
|What is Acrylic Fiber|
|Classification of Acrylic Fibers
|Acrylic Dyeing with Disperse Dyes|
|Instructions for Using IDye Poly on Acrylic
|Acrylic Dyeing with Basic Dyes
|Why Dyeing with Basic Dyes Give Acrylic Good Wash Fastness|
|Precautions for Acrylic Washing
|What is the Use of Retarder in Acrylic Dyeing|