Dyes and Dyeing

General Information on Dyes

Dyes are substances, natural or synthetic, used to colour various materials. Natural dyes are so called because they are obtained from plants (eg. Alizarin, Indigo) from animals (eg. Cochineal, Kermes) and from some naturally occurring materials (e.g. Ochre and Prussian Blue).

Tintex Fabric Dyes are synthetic and are divided in two separate products.

TINTEX HIGH TEMPERATURE DYE which contains a mixture of ACID DYES for dyeing wool and other animal (protein) fibres, as well as nylon and DIRECT DYES for dyeing cellulose fibres such as cotton, rayon, linen etc.

Ideal for colouring blended fibres. Both fibres can be dyed approximately the same colour at the same time.


Acrylic 0 0 0 0
Canvas XX XX XX 0
Cotton XX XX XX 0
Linen XX XX XX 0
Hemp X X X 0
Jute X X X 0
Cotton Lycra 0 X XX 0
Nylon A X 0 A
Nylon/Polyester A 0 0 X
Polyester 0 0 0 0
Poly/Cotton X X X 0
Silk A 0 0 A
Viscose/Rayon XX XX XX 0
Wool A 0 0 A
Feathers 0 0 0 A
Tencel XX XX XX 0
Spandex 0 0 0 0


XX  = Full Strength Colour                                           HTD = High Temperature Dye

A   = Full Colur-add acid(vinegar)                                 WMD = Washing Machine Dye

X   = Good Colour but not full strength                                    LTD = Low Temperature Dye

0   = Will not dye                                                         SD = Silk Dye


Note: This guide is an indication only. Fabrics with special dressing and finishing (eg. water proofing) will not dye regardless of fabric type. Manufacturers care instructions on garments must also be followed.

TINTEX LOW TEMPERATURE DYES are fibre reactive dyes and are ideal to use for cotton, rayon, silk and any other cellulose fibres including bamboo. These dyes are the most permanent of all dye types.

1. Use rubber or plastic gloves to protect hands from stains.

2. Weigh, wash, rinse and spin garment, unfold and leave damp. Remove all stains.

3. Choose container large enough to allow article to be well spread and to be moved about freely. Use sufficient water to immerse article completely.

4. Dissolve the dye in a small container with hot water, at the rate recommended on the instructions for either High Temp or Low Temp Fabric Dyes. Stir well and strain through a clean old handkerchief or similar, to remove any undissolved dye.

5. The depth of colour obtained depends on the amount of dye used. FABRICS APPEAR DARKER WHEN WET. Add a small quantity of dye solution to the water and test the colour with scrap cloth. Continue to add more dye solution to the dye bath until the resulting shade is as required.

6. Remove the article from the dye bath before adding extra dye solution.

7. Dyeing one colour over another will produce a blend of the two.

8. A handful of common salt (about 250 gm) added to the dye bath when dyeing cottons helps to “fix” the colour.

9. Any garment liable to shrinkage should be measured or traced in outline before dyeing, so that it can be restored to original shape and size when pressed damp dry.

10. Shrinkage of woollens when using High Temp Dye is reduced by the addition of 1 tablespoon of vinegar per litre of dye solution.

11. When dyeing cotton or linen in hard water, the addition of a little washing soda will assist dye penetration.

12. Stains, faded areas and bleach marks will not be covered by the dye. Most stains can be removed with TINTEX Fabric Stripper.

13. Materials with special finishes; e.g., waterproofing or “scotch guard” stain repellent will not accept dye. Garments carrying the instructions “dry clean only” usually are finished with a crease resistant dressing and this would limit the even absorption of dye.

14. Use as many packs of dye as are required for the weight of the fabric to be dyed. The whole amount of material should be dyed together using the full amount of dye necessary. Dyeing in batches may result in slight colour variations as it is unlikely that the individual batches will be exactly the same. There may even be a slight variation in dye batches in production. Mixing all packs together eliminates this possibility.

They are NOT suitable for Orlon, Terylene, Polyester, Pleated Tricel, Acrilan, Dacron and Cellanese, although light shade may be obtained in some instances.

Mixtures of suitable fibres with unsuitable fibres will colour to the extent of the fibre capable of dyeing e.g., a blend of 35% Cotton and 65% Polyester will only produce 35% colour strength. (Refer to the Fabric Suitability Chart).

Certain types of materials are treated to produce drip-dry and other special finishes. These finishes may hinder penetration of the dye and in such cases it is advisable to try first on a small cutting from the hem or similar, before proceeding with the dyeing

TINTEX Hot Water Dyes are suitable for both dyeing in hot water tinting in cold water.

Simmering fabric when dyeing will produce the best colour and wash fastness.


As a general principle, anything that can be laundered at a certain temperature can be dyed at that temperature.


  • Best results obtained by simmering or boiling
  • Suitable for cotton, linen, hemp, tencel and viscose rayon
  • Also suitable for wool, silk, feathers and nylon with the addition of vinegar or mild formic acid
  • Available in 53 standard colours
  • Individual colours blended for dyers in commercial quantities
  • Resealable containers for safe storage
    Packs available from 10gm up to 20kg


  • Suitable for top loading washing machines
  • Modified formulation of hot water dye for use in washing machines
  • Packs contain 50gm dye and 50gm setting agent
  • Convenient method for dyeing larger items.
  • 1 Pack dyes up to 2.5kg of fabric