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Textile Dyes » Dyes for Synthetic Fibers
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Synthetic fibers come into existence due to the result of extensive research done by scientists to increase and improve upon the supply of naturally occurring animal and plant fibers that have been used in making cloth and rope.

Generally, synthetic fibers, or man-made fibers, are made by forcing, usually through the act of thrusting out the fiber forming materials through holes (called spinnerets) into the air, forming a thread.

Some common synthetic fibers Some specialty synthetic fibers
Rayon Vinyon
Acetate Saran
Nylon Spandex
Modacrylic Modal
Olefin Orlon

Dyeing Process of Synthetic Fibers (for helogenious fibers)

The process of synthetic fiber (a bundle hair, comprises halogen containing synthetic fibers) dyeing uses a dyeing solution containing a dye, a carrier and a solvent for synthetic fiber hair at 60° to 90° C. The said carrier is used in an amount of 0.05 to 1.2% by weight based on said dyeing solution and said solvent is used in an amount of 0.05 to 5% by weight based on said dyeing solution.

Popular Dyes For Synthetic Fibers

Name of fibers Name of common dyes that are used
Polyester Disperse Dyes
Acetate (Cellulose acetate) Doesn't take dyes ordinarily. It requires cross dyeing.
Acrylic Disperse dyes
Modacrylic Fiber Reactive Dyes
Modal Fiber Reactive Dyes
Nylon Cationic Dyes, Acid Dyes, Disperse Dyes
Orlon Disperse Dye
Rayon Acetate Rayon Dyes
Saron RIT Dyes
Spandex Disperse Dyes
Vinalon Doesn't take Dyes (in normal condition)
Vinyon Doesn't take Dyes (in normal condition)

Definition of Some Important Dyes

RIT Dyes are the chemical dyes which are available in both a powder dry form as well as in liquid form. The use of the dry dyes is more preferred over the liquid dyes because the dry dyes store better for a long period of time, both work equally as well. RIT Dyes are available at most grocery stores.

Fiber reactive dye is the most permanent of all kind of other dyes bond with the cellulose or protein molecules. No wonder you can safely wash a garment that has been dyed in bright fiber reactive colors with white clothing, a hundred times, without endangering the whites in the least - even if it is all different bright colors, or even solid black.

Basic dyes are cationic, which means that the colored part has a positive charge,at the time of dissolving in water. They will bond to either carboxyl or sulfonic acid groups on a fiber through the formation of salt links with these anionic groups in the fiber.

Major dyes for Synthetic fibers

Common Methods of Dyeing Nylon

Using Acid dyes
Although Nylon is a synthetic fiber but due to its some unique features, it can be dyed like silk or woolen clothes by ACID dyeing. For this, a typical recipe calls for dissolving dye and salt in adequate water to cover the material and allow it to move freely in the pot, adding the material, heat it to a simmer for ten minutes, add some vinegar and simmer for another ten minutes, then allow to cool gradually and rinse out. Acid dyes are used for wool, silk, and some synthetics. Unlike the vat and sulfur dyes, they are water-soluble and can be applied directly to the fiber.

Using Fiber reactive dyes
Most fiber reactive dyes, specially those which are commonly used to dye cotton and rayon, cannot react with nylon. But, fiber reactive dyes can be treated as Acid dyes if some acid like vinegar is added with it with the necessary heat supply. When used with acid dye recipe, a fiber reactive dye actually acts as an acid dye.

Using Union dyes
Unions are materials made from two or more different kinds of fibers, such as cotton and wool or viscose and acetate rayon.

Using Natural dyes
Many natural dyes are acid dyes, which work well on nylon if heated in a dye bath with an acid, like vinegar or citric acid. Cochineal dyes nylon a good intense red with a slightly brownish tone, whether mordanted with alum or not.

However, indigo is considered to perform poorly on all synthetic fibers, including nylon, because the fibers lack of the internal spaces found in natural fibers into which the soluble form of the dye may penetrate and then become trapped upon oxidation.

Using Discharge dyes
The dye in nylon must not be discharged with hydrochloride (ordinary household chlorine bleach), because the fiber itself, like wool or silk, will be severely damaged.


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