Here at My Little Customs nylon is one of our favourite types of hair. Nylon is probably one of the most versatile hair types you can work with when customising. Not only does our nylon have the finest denier of nylon's out there, it takes almost any hair style with no issues and you can use heat to help get desired styles.
However what you may not know, is that you can actually dye nylon hair. That's right!! You can make your own coloured nylon very simply using fabric dye!
This tutorial will cover the basics of dyeing hanks of nylon hair :).
Before you begin however it is important to understand that ONLY nylon and saran hair will dye with fabric dyes. Want to check the hair you are using is nylon, you can determine this with a few simple tests.
The reason I mention testing the hair is because some colours of POLYPROPYLENE are very similar to nylon in look, feel and texture, and it would be a waste of your time and money to try and dye polypropylene.
Nylon is a porous synthetic hair, meaning that it will quite easily take fabric dye whereas polypropylene is non-porous and therefore has no way for the dye to penetrate it and take on the colour. However because of these differences in porosity it makes it very easy to test the difference between the two hair types. So how do you test between the two types of hair you ask? Here's how :). THE FLOAT TEST.
This test doesn't get much simpler, if you are confused as to whether you have a poly or nylon hank, then simply snip a small amount of hair into a bowl of water. As mentioned above as nylon is porous it will absorb the water and sink to the bottom of the bowl, as poly is non-porous it cannot absorb the water and will always float. SIMPLE :).
To tell the difference between saran and nylon is also very easy and this can be done by eye and feel. Nylon is a very fine hair with a slight texture to it, compared to saran which has a silky smooth texture, heavier weight than nylon and a slightly greasier waxy feel to it.
Now that you know how to tell the difference between the hair types you are now ready for the fun part and dyeing your nylon hanks :).
Dyeing nylon is all about having fun and experimenting, I am never quite sure how the results will turn out, but I find that part of the fun, and found that some of the hanks I have dyed have come out more beautiful than I expected. Although you can effectively dye any colour of nylon, light colours will always yield the best results with our whites giving you the most vibrant and variation in colour.
Before you begin first gather your equipment;
For this tutorial I used 1 hank of white witch (see picture 1) and 1 small packet of powdered Dylon fabric dye in Flamingo Pink.
PLEASE BE AWARE, as with all dye there is a chance that your dyed hair may transfer on to light coloured projects or leech into the plastic of your doll / pony vinyl, and therefore it is recommended to either make sure your project is well sealed beforehand or to only use dyed hair on darker projects.
As you can see from pictures 4+5+6+7, I only dyed the hank one colour, however there is nothing stopping you dyeing the hair multiple colours. I have seen hair that has been dyed with 3 or 4 colours giving very dramatic and beautiful effects. Bear in mind that if you decide to dye more than one colour, that it is best to dry the hair in between each colour and also to start with your lightest colour first.
Remember dying nylon is all about having fun and experimenting :)
I hope you found this tutorial useful ~ we would love to see pictures of the different colours you create
Good luck and have fun