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Dying with Fabric Dyes

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Forum topic by Randy T posted 06-02-2018 03:02 PM 1323 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Randy T

36 posts in 422 days


06-02-2018 03:02 PM

Folks:

I am making a curly maple and oak tissue box cover that I want to dye and I am hoping that someone can help me out here.
I have been searching and reading here on the forum about using dyes to stain wood. I read that fabric dyes (RIT) will fade over time vs. the aniline wood dyes. If the material is kept out of direct sunlight, will it still fade? Is it the UV light that makes it fade, or just the fact that it is not strong enough to withstand the test of time? (The tissue box cover is for our bathroom.)
Thanks

-- Randy & Corinne, R&C Creations, British Columbia, https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/RccreationsCanada


26 replies so far

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

8296 posts in 3792 days


#1 posted 06-02-2018 06:11 PM

I made a guitar in 2010 using green RIT dye on curly maple. I finished it with a UV protective lacquer, and it stays out the sunlight. It’s still green 8 years later.

To make the grain pop, I tinted with black RIT dye, then sanded it back prior to using the green.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Rich's profile

Rich

4548 posts in 1005 days


#2 posted 06-03-2018 03:22 AM

I don’t understand why anyone would want to use RIT dye on their woodworking project. Between the commonly available TransFast, TransTint and Behlen products (and countless others) and the premium dyes from W.D. Lockwood, an endless array of colors can be created, so why use fabric dye? Am I missing something?

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 4064 days


#3 posted 06-03-2018 03:31 AM

Leather dye may work well on wood if you’re
looking for something cheaper than mail order
aniline wood dyes. It’s not light fast on leather
but it’s pretty durable on everything else I
think. Put a UV coating on it and keep it out
of direct sunlight and I think the color would
stay in wood for decades. I have leather I
dyed 20 years ago that hasn’t faded, but I don’t
put it out in sunlight. I’ve dyed fabric a couple of
times with RIT and wasn’t impressed. RIT is
also a water dye so it raises grain.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7404 posts in 2615 days


#4 posted 06-03-2018 03:37 AM

I don t understand why anyone would want to use RIT dye on their woodworking project.
- Rich

RIT dye: 8oz = $3.00

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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Rich

4548 posts in 1005 days


#5 posted 06-03-2018 03:45 AM


RIT dye: 8oz = $3.00

So, that’s it…lol. I spend a lot of money on the finest woods, hours of my valuable time to build a project to wow a customer and I should give a crap about a couple of dollars for the dye? It’s factored into the price.

Even on craft pieces for shows I’m not going to cut corners like that. I charge good money for my craft pieces too, and I’m not going to screw around with unknowns to save pennies per piece.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View Randy T's profile

Randy T

36 posts in 422 days


#6 posted 06-03-2018 04:04 AM

Thanks folks for your responses.

Knotscott: That is one beautiful guitar. Very impressive.

I was looking at fabric dye because of the availability. I can purchase it locally, whereas I have to order regular dye online. I have decided to wait and have ordered some online from Lee Valley.

-- Randy & Corinne, R&C Creations, British Columbia, https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/RccreationsCanada

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

5966 posts in 2825 days


#7 posted 06-03-2018 04:44 AM

On the subject of Dyes. Anyone have a hint where I might find a grey color? In keeping with color coding new drawers a grey stain would work well for a 8 drawer cabinet I am making. Why grey? I already have metal grey cabinets with various fasteners in them. Plan on putting MORE fasteners in the new 8 drawers. I can used some grey Rustoleum paint I have but wouldn’t mind having the gray show with a dye.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Rich's profile

Rich

4548 posts in 1005 days


#8 posted 06-03-2018 04:48 AM



On the subject of Dyes. Anyone have a hint where I might find a grey color? In keeping with color coding new drawers a grey stain would work well for a 8 drawer cabinet I am making. Why grey? I already have metal grey cabinets with various fasteners in them. Plan on putting MORE fasteners in the new 8 drawers. I can used some grey Rustoleum paint I have but wouldn t mind having the gray show with a dye.

- woodbutcherbynight

TransFast makes a grey dye. Water soluble aniline.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

8319 posts in 3214 days


#9 posted 06-03-2018 06:03 AM



I don t understand why anyone would want to use RIT dye on their woodworking project. Between the commonly available TransFast, TransTint and Behlen products (and countless others) and the premium dyes from W.D. Lockwood, an endless array of colors can be created, so why use fabric dye? Am I missing something?

- Rich

Hey Rich, I use fabric dyes hot to dye veneer. It needs to be kept hot for days to penetrate well and you need it in gallons. Price and availability work for the fabric dyes as well as knowing that they have worked for others in the past.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese! http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View Rich's profile

Rich

4548 posts in 1005 days


#10 posted 06-03-2018 12:34 PM

Hey Rich, I use fabric dyes hot to dye veneer. It needs to be kept hot for days to penetrate well and you need it in gallons. Price and availability work for the fabric dyes as well as knowing that they have worked for others in the past.

- shipwright

You mean that blue flower isn’t made from blue wood? Seriously though, who knew? I’d never heard of it and I stand corrected.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View Blindhog's profile

Blindhog

124 posts in 1465 days


#11 posted 06-03-2018 02:04 PM

Another point to consider is that not everyone does woodworking as a profession. I’m sure many on this site work the craft as an avocation/hobby and may not have the financial resources to buy at will. Seeking a cost effective alternative to provide a good end result should be respected and supported.
Not a knock on anybody, just another point of view….................

-- Don't let perfection get in the way of plenty good enough

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117652 posts in 3993 days


#12 posted 06-03-2018 02:36 PM

I’ve never used fabric dye on wood but two different finish books experts say that it’s not very colorfast, on the other hand, Rit company has instructions on how to dye wood.

https://www.ritdye.com/instructions/wood/

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

8319 posts in 3214 days


#13 posted 06-03-2018 03:17 PM

My research leads me to the conclusion that it is likely as colourfast as any other treatment. Valuable pieces just shouldn’t be left in the sun. Period.
The Rit instructions will get you a surface colour but won’t stand much of a sanding. I am now getting the best penetration by suspending veneer vertically for four to ten days (1/16”) in hot Tulip brand fabric dye. This amount of aniline dye would get pricey.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese! http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1420 posts in 3177 days


#14 posted 06-03-2018 03:24 PM

I am wondering if these Rit water-based dyes could be used with alcohol instead of water? This might prevent the problems with water on wood.

As an amateur machinist, I frequent one of the machinist forums. One of the people there says he is replacing “Dykem blue” (a dark blue lacquer applied to metal to lay out your machining/cutting lines. You apply the blue, let it dry, then scribe the layout lines by scratching them on by scratching through the blue background to expose the shiny metal line. Very precise) with Rit liquid dye in shellac instead of water. He swears it works great! Cheaper than Dykem blue and easier to obtain.

Any thoughts?

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117652 posts in 3993 days


#15 posted 06-03-2018 03:25 PM

The proof is in the pudding as they say Paul, but other than pieces that can be submerged in fabric dye for long periods of time I wonder how long the dye will last getting down to just how practical fabric dye is for use in furniture or boxes etc?

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