The world of fabrics is as diverse as it is complicated, ranging from Acrilan to Zibeline. It's an area where synthetic and natural fibers coexist and occasionally mix. 

The three principles of dyeing


  1. Synthetic fabrics cannot be dyed (at least not domestically)
  2. Most natural fabrics can be divided into two groups:

a: Able to be dyed in every way

b: Can only be hand-dyed.
    3. When we are talking about a blended fabric, it will follow both rules.


The first step is to find out if the fabric you want to dye is natural or synthetic. If it’s a blended fabric you will need to now how much of it is natural. You will normally find this information in the label inside.


Can I dye any natural fabrics?


In general, natural fabrics are very accommodating to permanent colour but the most common of these are :

  • Cotton
  • Linen
  • Viscose
  • Denim
  • Flax
  • Jute
  • Ramie
  • Canvas

Most of natural fabrics will be dyed successful but a few prefer to be washed by hand and do better when coloured with hand dye. For example: silk, wool, cashmere and mohair.


Which synthetic blends can I dye?

The vast majority of textiles made in the twenty-first century are composites of synthetic and natural elements. Labels for clothing and household textiles most typically feature the following blends:

Polyester + cotton

Polyester + viscose 

Silk + Linen

Different blends can be machine dyed properly, but not all of them were created equally. Natural fibers must pick up the color in any combination because synthetic fibers reject domestic dyes.

As the size of the synthetic component grows, less dye is picked up, resulting in a lighter (or more diluted) colour. For instance, using 69% cotton, 19% polyester, and 12% viscose to machine dye a white cardigan navy blue will work wonderfully. Just a little bit less pigment will be used in the finished color than what is used on the pack.