How to Dye Nylon Rope

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Any nylon rope can be dyed.
Any nylon rope can be dyed. (Image: Rope, image by Peter Jarvis from Fotolia.com)

Nylon is a synthetic plastic material that is heat-resistant, wear-resistant and chemical-resistant. Because of these properties, nylon is used extensively in clothing and outdoor gear such as life vests, parachutes, netting and rope. Another property of nylon is that it's very easy to dye. Whether you're working on a craft project or would just like to bring some colorful life into a dull rope, it can be quickly and effectively dyed almost any color.

Things You'll Need

  • Large bucket
  • 3 gallons hot water
  • 1 package powder dye
  • Small bowl
  • 2 cups hot water
  • Stainless steel spoon
  • 4 tbsp. laundry detergent

Fill a large bucket with 3 gallons of hot water.

Pour the powder dye package into a separate small bowl. Add 2 cups of hot water to the dye, allowing it to dissolve. Use one packet of powder dye and 3 gallons of hot water per 1 lb. of nylon rope. For a large and/or heavy rope, the mixture should be doubled.

Pour the dyed water into the large bucket. Use a stainless steel spoon to thoroughly mix the dye and the water.

Soak the entire rope in hot water, then place it into the bucket. Wetting the rope before dyeing it will ensure the dye is distributed evenly along the length of the rope.

Stir the rope in the bucket as it soaks in the dye for 30 minutes. Leave the rope in longer if you prefer a darker color.

Rinse the rope under warm water when it's finished in the dye bath. Gradually, turn the water from warm to cool until the excess dye is rinsed from the rope and the water runs clear.

Pour 4 tablespoons of laundry detergent onto the rope. Work the detergent into the rope under cool water. Rinse the rope completely off. Washing the rope will prevent the rope from bleeding if it's washed or soaked in water.

Allow the rope to air dry until it's thoroughly dried.

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