RIT® dye is what is known as an "all purpose" dye, in other words, it can dye both plant (cellulose) fibers like cotton, and protein fibers like wool and silk. That is because it has a Direct Dye component, for the cotton, and an Acid Dye component, for the silk or wool. It’s an “all things to everyone” dye that does nothing particularly well. It’s used in very hot water, and comes in either liquid or powder form that you measure out depending on what you are dyeing. It does not produce very bright colors and it fades with each washing, especially if washed in hot water.
We carry the following easy to use alternatives:
Similar to RIT® dye, Jacquard iDye is also an all purpose dye, and contains both an Acid and a Direct Dye component. We think it gives better results than Rit. It’s always fresh, because it is manufactured locally by Jacquard Products who have a very good reputation in the fiber art world, and are just a stones throw away from Dharma. It is easier to use than Rit because it comes in packets that dissolve when you throw them into the washing machine. You never have to measure powders or liquids. It too can fade in hot water washing, but Jacquard came out with an all purpose iDye Fixative which helps make this dye more wash-fast if you use it. iDye also has a line of easy to use Polyester dyes, called iDye Poly!
We sell tons of iDye. We think it is a great product for folks who need fast, no fuss, no muss results, but don't particularly care about the depth of color or some fading. It is also useful on blended fabrics that are part protein and part cellulose, to get all the fibers to dye the same color in one easy step. HOWEVER, if you want to take the time to get professional results, if you want a dye job that survives years of washing, we do carry other far superior dyes! These dyes give better results, are often less expensive since they are very concentrated and can be purchased in small sizes or in bulk.
Dharma Fiber Reactive Dye
Dharma's Fiber Reactive Procion type dye is the professional quality dye of choice for cotton, rayon, linen, hemp and other cellulose (plant origin) fibers. It is the preferred dye for baby clothing made of those fibers, as it chemically bonds with the fabric molecules and won't ever come off, except in the presence of bleach or similar chemicals. Clothing will wear out before the dye does! All knowledgeable tie-dyers use this dye for its amazing brilliant colors. A few more steps are involved than with Rit, but the brilliance of the colors, wash-fastness (lack of fading with washing) and color selection are worth it! See how to use these dyes with the basic solid color dyeing instructions.
Dharma Acid Dyes & Jacquard Acid Dyes
Dharma Acid Dyes and Jacquard Acid Dyes are professional quality dyes and are the dye of choice for silk, wool and other protein (animal origin) fibers. They are wash-fast in cool water washing, and yield brilliant colors. These dyes are very economical, and the only other product you need is common household vinegar. Also very easy to use; simmer your fiber in a pot on the stove, mix in the dye, mix in the vinegar, stir and simmer and you’re done!
We carry many other dyes, including Natural (plants, bugs) Dyes, Silk Painting Dyes, sun developing dyes (Jacquard SolarFast or Inko Dye) and Paints that work kind of like dyes. If you need to color fabric or clothing, we have what you need! If you are not sure what you need after reading the above, give us a call M-F toll free at 800-542-5227 and let us help you get the right product to make your project a success! We have over 4 decades of experience in the Fiber Art business, and a reputation for great prices, fast shipping and great customer service. We can and love to help!
iDye - Super easy, no fuss dyeing.
Procion Dye - The dye of choice for cotton and other plant based fibers.
Dharma Acid Dye - Silk and wool? This is the stuff!
Jacuard Acid Dye - Another great choice for silk or wool!