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Best Fabric Dyes in 2020 Reviewed

With so many different types of fabrics available, there is no one fabric dye to suit them all. However, it is possible to find a product that is ideal for your intended use, you just have to know what to look for. We cover all this in our buyer’s guide below, but before that, we have compiled a list of the best fabric dyes on the market.

This is also where we show what better products are for different fabrics, and there is something for every budget. some are fine for multiple fabrics whilst others are more specific but what is clear is that each one is among the very best on the market. For an easy way of bringing a new life to an ordinary fabric, check out our list of the top products below.

Summary of the Best Fabric Dyes
Reviews

Editor’s Choice: Rit, Fuchsia Purpose Powder Dye, 1-1/8 oz

For vibrant colors on almost any fabric, this is the best fabric dye of them all. It has the ability to dye wool, nylon, silk, and more, but can also be used to dye wood, paper, cork, and others. A lot of people use it to bring new life to old clothes, or for home decor. There are tonnes of color choices available, but we are fans of the Fuschia, as well as the denim blue.

On Rit’s website, you will find over 500 color recipes, making it easier to blend and create the right color and tone. With nearly 32 grams of the dye powder, it goes a long way. An all-purpose dye, it is perfect for fabrics with 35% or more polyester, acetate, or acrylic. Anything below and Rit also sells a synthetic fiber dye that would be better suited.

PROS:

  • Good value
  • Easy to use
  • Works on a variety of fabrics
  • Vibrant colors
CONS:

(none)

Best For Kids: Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye Kit Party Creative Group Activities

When it comes to arts and crafts, it is great for kids to have an activity to hand, and there is no better fabric dye for kids than this product from Tulip. Easy to use and with everything needed to turn plain clothes into colorful garments, there is enough for up to 36 projects. The 18 squeezable bottles come in 14 different colors and can be combined to make new shades.

There is a step by step guide that walks a child through how to make different tye-dye designs making it easy to take on new design ideas. It is best used with 100% natural fibers and the most commonly used for this that yield the best results are cotton, wool, and rayon. Ideal for a rainy day project or a gift for a young one, it is popular for the fun it provides, and the lasting results.

PROS:

  • Can be used for up to 36 different projects
  • 14 different colors included
  • Step by step guides
  • Super easy to use
CONS:

  • Not so good with synthetic fibers

Best Red: Deco Art Jacquard Procion MX Dye, 2/3-Ounce, Fire Engine Red (PMX-1030)

One of the highest quality fabric dyes available form a quality brand, the fire engine red is as striking as it is long-lasting. Not only that, but it has multiple uses, and can be put to work on projects that involve tie-dying, batik, airbrushing, screen printing, garment dyeing, and a lot more.

Use it on cellulose fabrics and some protein fibers for the full effect and as a powder solution, all the user needs to do is add cold water. The 2/3 oz. jar is good value and is available in various color options but each one has a reputation for being resistant to fading which is a common problem with low-quality dyes, but not this one.

PROS:

  • Can be used for a variety of projects
  • Vibrant color
  • Resistant to fading
  • Powder solution goes a long way
CONS:

  • Not suitable for all types of fabrics

Best For Polyester: Jacquard iDye Fabric Dye-Violet (For Polyester)

One of the easiest products to use, when it comes to fabric dye, this ensures there is no mess to worry about. It also contains a color intensifier to bring out the vibrancy and ensure there is no risk of dull colors. It comes in a packet that dissolves in water to keep things simple and can be thrown into a top-loading washing machine with salt and put through a normal cycle.

This dye is also good for poly-cotton blends and every pack will be fine to dye around 2 -3 lbs of fabric. Much like a lot of other brands, there are loads of color options from silver/grey to orange or green, but what sets this product apart is how easy it is to use.

PROS:

  • Comes in a packet that dissolves in water
  • Easy to use
  • Dyes around 2 – 3 lbs of water
  • Lots of color options
CONS:

  • Doesn’t mask greasy spots so well

Best For Protein Fibers: Jacquard Products Brill Blue Acid Dyes, Acrylic, Multicolour, 5.08×5.08×6.35 cm

Free from both acid and toxins, this is a gentle fabric dye that still manages to bring out a vibrant color. Made with arts and craft projects in mind, it is an ideal product for silk, wool, nylon, feathers, and more. A concentrated powder dye, it is easily mixed and ready to go within seconds. Adding a little vinegar is the only acid involved and it can be used for dark shades by adding less water.

For protein fibers, it is an excellent choice since it yields excellent color and is easy to use. There should also be no risk of the colors bleeding or fading with this fabric dye. It is easy to find online and Jacquard offers a wide color choice.

PROS:

  • No toxins or acid – can be mixed with vinegar
  • Ideal for silk, wool, nylon, and more
  • Concentrated powder dye
CONS:

  • Goes fast

Best Multi Pack: Procion PMX208S Cold Water Dye, Assortment (Pack of 8)

Although other products might be easier to use, this yields impressive results and only need to be mixed with soda ash. For more colorfast results, this is a great option, and the colors themselves are even brighter than the competition. The 8 x 8 oz jars offer great value and a good array of color options including jet black, bright green, Fuschia, and more.

A lot of people use them for tye dye projects, and what makes them stand out is that they tend to wash better than other products. A powdered formula that is easy to mix with water for impressive fabric dye that when mixed, can create numerous color options.

PROS:

  • 8 x 8 oz jars
  • Great colorfast results
  • Easy to mix
CONS:

  • May be a bit pricey for some
Fabric Dye Buyers Guide

We all have new projects in mind, but even the simplest of dye related ideas can be difficult when using the wrong type of product. Dying a plain t-shirt can be easy, as can tye-dye, as long as you know how to find the right product for your needs. Because they can differ so much, we have created the following buyer’s guide.

By the end of it, you’ll know exactly what to expect from the better products, and how to avoid making a bad decision.

Different Types of Fabric Dyes

Fiber Reactive Dyes

These are among the best available as they are permanent dyes that bond with both protein and cellulose, making it an ideal option for cotton garments. What the user is left with is a fabric that can be washed safely with other clothes without the risk of the colors running onto whites of other light colors. 

Some products in this range are better usd with cold or hot water, with some fine to use with either, just be sure to read the label so it is clear that the fabric you intend to dye is suitable. 

All-Purpose Dyes

These are a combination of dyes that often include dyes with acid dyes to ensure they can work on a larger variety of fabrics. This means it can be used to dye blended fibers but not synthetic fibers so well. It also doesn’t dye well in cold water so it is not the most versatile of fabric dyes.

Direct Dyes

Thes are best used with cotton and should be mixed with hot water. The results are not quite as spectacular, with the color not being as vibrant as other options, but the compromise is that they are often more affordable. The colors can be susceptible to bleeding in the wash but any acid-free products can be mixed with vinegar, which is both easily accessible and effective.

Acid Dyes

Most commonly used to color silk and wool, and are among the best dyes for protein fibers. The acid used is usually perfectly safe and often non-toxic but the results can mean they are best hand washed or on a cold cycle at most. Still, they are available in different forms from wash fast acid dyes to lanaset dyes which work well with nylon.

Disperse Dye

Often used to dye synthetic fibers, these are often mixed with a dispersing agent hence the name. It is this and the fine size of the particles that make it take to the fiber easily and high temperatures are often required. They work well for polyester and acrylic-based fabrics. 

Different Types of Fabrics Used For Dyeing 

Protein Fibers

One of the most common types, they typically are made from animal hair so expect wools, cashmere, and angora among others. Silk is the exception and some of the best types of fabric dyes for these include acid dyes, all-purpose dyes, and natural dyes. 

Cellulose Fibers

These are the other common type and are typically made from plant-based sources such as cotton, hemp, linen, and others. fiber reactive dyes are best for this type, but others that work well include direct dyes and all-purpose dyes.

Synthetic Fibers

With blends included in this, these can make it difficult to find the right dye as there are many different fabrics used in these types. depending on the fabrics included, there are a variety of dyes that work best. For polyester or acetate, a disperse dye is often best.

What To Look For In A Fabric Dye

Ease of Use

This will play a big part in how effective a dye can be as the easier it is to use, the more room for error there can be. Most provide simple instructions where for example, two scoops of power will result in X oz of water. 

Dyeing Method

This can vary depending on the type of dye and project, but some are more versatile than others. A lot of products have multiple uses and can be applied to tye dye tasks, where the method of dyeing is different. Others only need to be immersed in water for it to work, whereas a batik method can provide unique results. Always check that the dyeing method you are after will work with the dye.

Color Fastness

This is important as there are some horror stories of those who didn’t read the label and found that all their whites became pink before too long. This can also impact how the color faders from the fabric so the higher quality products won’t have such a problem. The wash fastness is measured on a scale of one to five with five being the better option for colorfastness.

Number Of Uses

How far the dye will go will depend on the strength of the dye and also the amount that each jar or container offers. There is good value to be found in multi-packs but anything that can be used a handful of times is usually a generous amount. for large fabrics and dark shades, expect to need to use more dye.

Safety

Because some fabric dyes contain strong chemicals and acids, it is important to read the safety instructions before using them. Some people like to avoid these products altogether although some acid dyes are better for different types of fabrics. 

What Is The Best Fabric Dye?

For us, the best fabric dye on the market is Rit, Fuchsia Purpose Powder Dye, 1-1/8 oz. Its generous size and the ability to dye a variety of fabrics ensure it is a deserved winner. As does the fact that there are a variety of colors available and they can all be combined. 

The reasonable price tag is another draw although it is always best to go for quality over a bargain fabric dye or you risk getting sub-par results. This isn’t an issue that should occur with this product, as long as enough powder is mixed for a strong dye.

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