String dyeing experience

  • Participant
    Seiken on #191800

    I’m gonna to share some experience about string dyeing .I just dyed some nylon fish lines to blue with permanent dye since yesterday. The dye labeled “250g clothes with 30g dye” and “boil with the clothes for 30 minutes”. With the indication, the result is a roll of black(almost) string, which get about 3.5% heavier and 10% thicker than original, and became very stretchable. Almost impossible to use. After some more experiment, I believe dyeing nylon strings with similar dyes will be better with following way:
    1. Usage amount should not be relative to line weight but to water. Like 2g dye to 1L water.
    2. To a 1.38mm string, only boil it for 1 minute. Time should be decreased with thinner string.
    3. Wash in fast to avoid more expanding.

    Participant
    Biagio on #191802

    I’ve used several methods over the years with greater or lesser success. Herewith a few observations…..

    -I use RIT fabric dye which used to be easily available in any grocery store here in the US. Navy Blue still is but they changed the Scarlet formula and now only the commercial Rit gives a good color (the new retail formula turns nylon purple!).

    -I mix up about two gallons, doubling the recommended amount of dye and adding a little white vinegar and soft liquid detergent (Chiffon is good), about 1-2 tablespoons of each. I dump that in a crock pot slow cooker with the strings, set it on “High” and go back to practicing. I check during each half hour break. Thicker strings and especially fluorocarbon take longer of course – three hours or more. Thinner may be done in an hour all dpending on the dye concentration. When done to taste (LOL) fish them out, rinse, and dry thoroughly. The dye can be saved and used over and over again.

    -If I am in a real hurry I will bypass dyeing entirely and just paint the strings with pattern maker’s layout fluid. This does increase the weight and will rub off eventually so it is just a temporary “fix.” It does work well on metal strings though, but an oil based marker is better for those. Sharpie(C) glo-sticks are nice and bright for wire, but everything rubs off eventually.

    -Most nylons will absorb a fair amount of water so be sure that the string is completely dry, which may take several hours. I’ll often cut a coil to lengths first and hang them up with a heavy fishing weight so they are also pre-stretched.

    -Dupont Tynex is the only kind of nylon that works well on a typically tensioned lever harp; other types stretch too readily. However with a very light harp such as a Paraguayan or Kora ordinary fishing line is very often used successfully.

    Hope that is helpful,
    Biagio

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