How to Dye Tencel

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Tencel is a synthetic fabric made from wood pulp and is sustainable and recyclable. Tencel works well with dyes used for natural fibers, such as cotton or wool. The dying process is not complicated once you learn the basics.

Things You'll Need

  • Scale
  • Synthrapol
  • Water-based fabric-dye powder
  • Large bucket
  • Salt
  • Wooden stirring spoon
  • Soda ash

Weigh the tencel on a small scale. The amount of dye that you use will depend on how much the tencel weighs.

Add 1/2 tsp. of synthrapol in a liter of water. Soak the tencel fibers in the solution overnight.

Use the following ratios for each 100 g of fiber. Use a 1/8 tsp. for a pale dye, 1/4 tsp. for light colors, 3/4 tsp. for dark colors and 2 tsp. for black. Mix these dye measurements with one cup of warm water.

Fill a large bucket with enough warm water to cover the tencel. Add salt to the water using the following ratio. Use 100 g of salt for pale colors, 150 g for light, 200 g for dark colors and black. Stir until the salt is dissolved.

Pour the dye mixture into the water mixture. Add the tencel fabric. Stir the mixture for five minutes.

Pour soda ash into a separate container using a ratio determined by the desired dye color. Use 3 tbsp. of soda ash for pale colors, 4 tbsp. for light colors and five tbsp. for dark and black dyes. Add 500 ml of water to the soda ash and stir until dissolved.

Remove the fibers from the dye solution after 15 minutes of soaking. Add the soda-ash water to the dye bath and mix. Replace the fibers and stir for five minutes. Stir the mixture every 10 minutes for the next hour.

Remove the fibers from the dye bath and rinse in lukewarm water. Rinse the fibers in hot water after the water runs clear in the lukewarm rinse. Rinse again in room-temperature water two or three additional times. Hang the fibers to dry or lay flat to dry.

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