Textile Dyeing Exercise

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.

– Albert Einstein

Last post was about textile dyes. We have learnt how dyes show different behaviors on different textile materials.

Soo, are you ready to see a real example??

The following experiment has been done by me almost 2 years ago, when I was working as a Textile Science research assistant. I will explain the experimental design, the idea behind this experiment and the results in detail. Happy learning!!

Step 1: The idea behind this experiment

Why did I do this?

We have covered how to dye Cotton in the last post and also have talked about “blended” fabrics in one of the previous posts. Let’s think about PolyCotton. As its name would suggest, it is a cotton/polyester blend. So I was curious to see whether there will be difference between these two fabrics when I use the same dye and the same dyeing process.

What was I expecting?

We know that Polycotton(from now on, I will call this P/C blend) has the properties of both polyester and cotton. We also know that Direct Dye is a smart choice for Cotton while Disperse Dye should be chosen for Polyester. Thus, I will try both dyes for both fabrics to see the results.

Always Remember: the dye uptake of the blended fabric depends on the poly/cotton ratio.

Step 2: Experimental Design

Fabrics used: Bleached 100% COTTON fabric and 50/50 P/C blend

Dyes used    : C. I. Direct Blue 189 and C.I. Disperse Blue 7

Dyeing Baths:

A: Cotton – Direct

BP/C blend – Direct

CCotton – Direct+Disperse

DP/C blend –Direct+Disperse

Step 3Results and Explanations

Result A, Cotton with Direct Dye : Light shade. Less saturation. Worst wash fastness, bleed so much while washing after treatment


Result C, Cotton with Direct+Disperse Dye: Darker shade. Bright color. Still bad wash fastness, but did NOT bleed as much as the Cotton fabric dyed with Direct dye.

Result B, P/C Blend with Direct Dye: Darker shade compared to Result A. Less bright compared to Result C.  Faded while washing, but NOT as much as Result A.

Result D, P/C Blend with Direct+Disperse Dye: Darkest depth of shade (because polyester portion of the fabric absorbed the disperse dye molecules; while the cotton portion was absorbing the direct dye molecules). Saturation is different than the rest. Faded more than Result A but not more than the other two while washing.

By the way, I used TIE-DYEING technique just for fun! I think it is ageless and beautiful 🙂

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