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Can You Tie Dye Polyester Cotton Blend? (Explained)

Tie-dyeing has been quite the DIY trend recently. It is a fun and cheap way to amp up all the basic clothes in your wardrobe and get a better wear out of it.

You might have been wondering if it is possible to tie dye polyester cotton blend clothes and you should do your research to be more informed about it. 

Can you tie-dye polyester cotton blend?

You can tie-dye polyester cotton blend clothes, but it is not that easy to do so. Furthermore, the end product is not predictable and it might not be very vibrant as you would like for it to be. Rest assured, with proper dyes and techniques you can still get a satisfactory result. 

Does tie-dye work on a cotton polyester blend?

It is possible to do tie-dye work on cotton-polyester blends, but it is more complicated than tie-dyeing cotton blends. This especially applies to blends with a higher polyester content because polyester does not absorb color that well. 

Tie-dye 60% cotton 40% polyester:

It is certainly possible to tie-dye 60% cotton and 40% polyester blends. However, do keep in mind that the result will not be that vibrant.

It will most likely be a pastel color since polyester does not absorb color that well. If you are happy with a pastel outcome then you are good to go. If you are looking for something brighter then you should consider a blend with a higher percentage of cotton. 

Tie-dye 50% cotton 50% polyester:

If you try to tie-dye a 50% cotton and 50% polyester blend then it is likely that the cotton will absorb all the color while the polyester will not.

The end result will be a very muted color and will not have much texture at all. The tie-dye will barely be noticeable.

However, it is worth noting that if you boil your blend in water first then there are chances that the polyester will absorb some color which will result in some texture. 

Tie-dye 80% polyester 20% cotton:

Unfortunately, tie-dyeing a blend that has such a high concentration of polyester will not give any fruitful results. The polyester, even if you boil the blend in hot water will not absorb as much color.

And since the cotton concentration is so low the color it will absorb will be very light. There will be zero patterns and zero texture, only a faded color will be present. 

Tie-dye 65% polyester 35% cotton:

Polyester is quite complicated to dye and it might end up making your blend look patchy.

They do not absorb regular dyes properly. Adding a bit of salt to your water might help it absorb dyes better, but the end result is still unpredictable. With a 65% polyester and 35% cotton blend you are more likely to get a light pastel color. 

Tie-dye shirt that is not 100% cotton:

Cotton is the best at soaking up as well as holding colors for a long period of time.

You can tie-dye a shirt that is not 100% cotton but keep in mind that the end result will not be very vibrant as the color will not be absorbed that well. The higher the cotton percentage your shirt has, the better tie-dyed it will be.

If you tie-dye one with a cotton percentage that is way too low then not only will your shirt absorb color that well, any plausible textures and the dye pattern will not be that visible either. It will just end up being a shirt with a muted pastel color. 

How to tie-dye polyester cotton blend?

Since polyester is quite complicated to dye, you must ensure to follow some guidelines so that you can aim to get the best results.

Even then, do keep in mind that since the nature of polyester is different the end result will be unpredictable even if all the steps are maintained with care. 

Gather the raw materials:

Ensure that the dye you are using is the same color and from the same brand. Additionally, make sure that you use a dye carrier so that the polyester can absorb the color better.

Prepare the fabric that you are going to dye by washing it properly and then ironing it so that there are not any splotches present in the end result. 

Prepare your fabric for tie-dyeing:

Tie your blend up with thick rubber bands to create the tie-dye effect. Select rubber bands with the width and size you desire and tie them accordingly to the pattern you want to create.

If you experiment with a smaller-sized fabric it will help you to determine what exactly you want. Higher polyester blends might be slightly slippery so be patient. 

Prepare the mixture:

Make sure to cover your kitchen counters properly so that the dye does not get everywhere and stain your counters.

Then pour a large stainless steel pot with water and boil the water. Add the dyes of your choice as well as the dye carrier and stir them in properly until well incorporated. 

Dye your blend:

Add your blend to the pot and maintain a constant temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Add some salt to your solution as it will help the fabric absorb the dye better.

Keep your blend in the dye and stir it consistently so that the color is even on all sides. Do this procedure for at least half an hour to a full hour. 


Once the time is up, take your blend out of the mixture. Please ensure that you are wearing gloves to avoid burning yourself or dyeing your hands. Keep the blend aside for at least a full day so that it cools down completely and soaks all the dye in.

After that, use a very mild soap to wash your blend and then allow it to dry fully. Keep in mind that if the blend consists of a higher percentage of cotton the end result will be more vibrant and textured. 

Can you bleach tie dye polyester cotton blend?

You can certainly bleach tie dye polyester cotton blend. However, you have to ensure that the blend consists of a higher percentage of cotton.

Bleach reacts the best with cotton and will give you a better end result. If your blend is primarily made of polyester then the bleach might not respond well with the material and end up heavily lightening your blend. 

How to bleach dye polyester cotton blend?

To bleach dye polyester-cotton blends, ensure to maintain proper guidelines so that you can be satisfied with the end result. 

Prepare your fabric:

It is best to use a blend that is fifty percent of cotton and fifty percent of polyester. Wash your fabric thoroughly and then ensure it is wet for the process. Take a bottle and make your mixture of bleach and water in 50-50 ratios. 

Prepare the design:

Tie your fabric with rubber bands according to your liking. It can be as thick or as wide as you want it to be. Ensure to test it out on a small fabric first. 

Bleach your blend:

Wear gloves and do this step in a well-ventilated area. Spray the bleach mixture on every other area. A blend with polyester will take a bit of time for the bleach to get absorbed. 


Do not let the mixture stay on for way too long. Let it dry until you get the color of your liking. Wash it thoroughly and then let your fabric dry. 

How do you make tie-dye stick to polyester?

Polyester is very tricky to work with when it comes to absorbing colors. To expect any kind of result, you will need to boil your fabric to at least 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Alongside that, you will also need to add a color intensifier as well as salt to the solution. All these combined will help your polyester blend absorb color better and produce nicer tie-dyes. However, there is still unpredictability present and the dye might also fade. 

Can you reverse tie-dye polyester?

You cannot reverse tie-dye polyester properly. Polyesters do not work well with bleach. If they mix together, your fabric might end up getting damaged.

It might end up lightening a lot or turning yellow. However, you can boil your fabric with white dispersed dye to get some color out of the fabric, but keep in mind that it will not reverse the tie-dye in any way. 

What is the best tie-dye for a cotton polyester blend?

In general blends with a higher concentration of polyester do not absorb color well because of the nature of polyester. However, you can use the RIT all-purpose liquid dye for your cotton polyester blend. It has more chances of giving you a satisfying end result. 

What fabric is best for tie dye?

Cotton is considered to be the best fabric for tie-dye. The cotton fabric reacts perfectly with dyes and gets a vibrant color output to the tie-dye. But you can still opt for cotton and polyester blends. But the cotton percentage should be higher than polyester.

What happens when you use Rit dye on polyester?

Rit dye works better on polyester than any other dye. This is because they are aimed to work for both cotton blends as well as synthetic ones.

However, if the percentage of polyester in the blend is very high then the end result might not be very dark as polyester does not absorb color that well. 

Final Thoughts:

If you are aiming for pastels or slightly muted colors then a polyester cotton blend will be the perfect choice to tie-dye. However, if you are someone who wants the vibrant tie-dye color then you should aim for blends with a higher percentage of cotton as cotton absorbs color better.