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Old 29-11-2006, 07:47   #1
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Red Sails in the Sunset

Folks:

Current issue of BoatWorks has a lovely cover image of a sloop with red sails and it occurred to me that my sails are a boring drab old white, while a light blue might enhance the general look of the thing.

How does one go about dying sails? Or do you have to buy them that way?

M
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Old 29-11-2006, 08:45   #2
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Dacron sail cloth does not take dye very well. When you see colored sail cloth it generally came that way from the fiber manufacturer. Dying dacron sail cloth comes at the price of increased stretch and a shorter life for a given cloth weight.

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Old 29-11-2006, 14:02   #3
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The difficulty with dyeing polyester (ie: Dacron sails) is that it requires a lot of heat to get the dye into the fiber. Boiling water is not hot enough to do the job by itself, so a carrier chemical must be added, for immersion dyeing.

Here’s one recipe for dying polyester (Dacron) ~ NOT what I'd want to do to my sails:

Recipe for Dyebath:
˝ - 1% Dye to Wgt. Of Goods Pastel Shade
2 - 3% Dye to Wgt. Of Goods Medium Shade
4 - 5% Dye to Wgt. Of Goods Deep Shade


Dyeing Procedure:

1. Dissolve the measured amount of dye in hot water and then add to a larger volume of water. The Liquor ratio should be 25:1 (approximately Three Gallons Water/1 Lb. goods)

2. Place the pre-wet fabric in dyebath.

3. Bring the temperature of the dyebath up to 160°F. and then add Hi-Conc Polydeveloper.

4. Use 4 - 10% Developer To Weight Of Goods. Adjust to Ph of 6 with Acetic Acid.

5. Increase dyebath temperature to 212°F. (Boiling)

6. Stir often to assure even saturation.

7. Maintain at boil for 20 to 30 minutes or until desired depth of shade is obtained.

8. When fabric has reached desired depth of shade, remove and rinse in hot water.

9. Rinse thoroughly with soap to complete extraction of excess dye.
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Old 29-11-2006, 15:27   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Connemara
Folks:

Current issue of BoatWorks has a lovely cover image of a sloop with red sails and it occurred to me that my sails are a boring drab old white, while a light blue might enhance the general look of the thing.

How does one go about dying sails? Or do you have to buy them that way?

M
Connemara 27
For all intents and purposes , you don't and yes. You'll do the sail cloth no favours by dyeing it. Also where on earth will you find a tub big enough to hold your sails during the dyeing process ? In order to satisfactorily dye any cloth it needs to be immersed in the dye with plenty of space to slosh about in. Otherwise you run the risk of tie dyed sails. I'd also suspect (suspect cos I don't know for certain) that stitching and boltropes will not appreciate the chemical bath.
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Old 29-11-2006, 17:03   #5
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How about tie-died? Wouldn't need as large a vat, and the knots would be an advantage!

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Old 29-11-2006, 18:59   #6
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Knew I'd get quick and definitive answers. Guess I'll stick with (sigh) boring old white.
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