Although mesh exists in a variety of materials, it tends to be made of synthetics such as nylon and polyester. Synthetic fibers can be trickier to dye than plant or animal fibers, but it can be done. The process for dyeing mesh is immersion dyeing, and the type of dye required is acid dye. Acid dyes are highly concentrated pigment powders that must be mixed in small batches and added to a vat of simmering water.
Things You'll Need
Acid dye powder
Large cooking pot
Soak the mesh for 30 minutes in a sink full of water with 1/2 tsp. of concentrated textile detergent for every pound of fabric.
Pour 2 gallons of water into a large cooking pot and bring it to a boil.
Add 1/4 cup of vinegar and 2/3 oz. of dye powder to the boiling water. Turn the heat down to a simmer. Stir the mixture until there are no more lumps of dye.
Add the wet fabric to the dye bath. There is no need to rinse it first.
Simmer the dye bath just below boiling for 30 minutes, stirring at least once every two to three minutes.
Pour the dye bath out in the sink, letting the mesh fall out of the pot. Put on rubber gloves to prevent staining your hands or burning yourself. Run warm water over the mesh until most of the dye is rinsed out.
Wash the mesh in textile detergent and warm water, either in the machine or by hand. Allow it to air dry.
Textile detergent is not the same as regular laundry detergent. Look for these highly concentrated detergents on the same websites that sell acid dye powder. For more than 1 lb. of fabric, make separate dye baths for every pound according to the recipe above.
Never reuse utensils and cookware used for dyeing to cook food.