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  • Dying or Staining Nylon Rope

    Not sure which forum to put this in-it probably could have gone here, refurbs, or even canoeing.

    Has anyone ever messed around with trying to dye or stain standard, 3-strand nylon, marine rope before? I read a paragraph in a book about rigging canoes for sailing (my project for NEXT summer) that mentioned using wood stain (e.g. Minwax etc.) to stain new white nylon ropes to make them look more historically accurate (i.e. hemp or manilla rope) on more traditional woodstrip or wood and canvas canoes. I don't care about any historical accuracies, etc., but I would like to dye or stain white nylon rope to match the color scheme of the boat, which is flat tan camo (duck/moose hunting boat).

    I'm told that those rit brand dyes you buy at the fabric shop or Mal-Warts won't work on nylon material; the dye doesn't adhere to the material well, and it washes clean in a few weeks. But I wonder how well wood stain (stain only, not the stain plus varnish stuff) would work, and, more importantly, what effect would it have on the strength and durability of the rope.

    Has anyone ever heard of this, or tried it? Does anyone know of other ways to change the color of rope?

  • #2
    I used to use rit to color my single strand mono gillnets, it held up fine so i would think it will work ok on nylon. I'd think stain wouldn't have any bad effect on nylon either.
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    • #3
      The Rit website does have directions on dying nylon. Apparently you have to add vinegar to the mix.I've found you tube videos where in they dye rope using hot water with a salt water rinse. I've also read that it doesn't hold very long. I wonder if stain would ever dry out properly and not stain your hands.(same with dye.)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
        The Rit website does have directions on dying nylon. Apparently you have to add vinegar to the mix.I've found you tube videos where in they dye rope using hot water with a salt water rinse. I've also read that it doesn't hold very long. I wonder if stain would ever dry out properly and not stain your hands.(same with dye.)
        hot water and a garbage can was what i used, threw the whole bundle of netting in, left it in for a hour or so, took it out and let it dry, built net and went fishing. Also used to "tar" my nylon twine, used something called"Texaco net dip" bought it from Nylon Net Co in Tennessee, cut it with mineral sprits then just threw in the spools of nylon twine left them in till the bubbles stopped took them out and let them drain & dry. If i used more MS then the color would be more of a light brown than the regular black tar color. Might be able to do the same with driveway sealer ??
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        Alaska Shrimp Pots

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        • #5
          Good topic. I was thinking about dying my anchor line around 50 feet so I would know I'm getting close. Thanks for the info on dying....
          27' Wooldridge Super Sport Offshore Pilothouse PRIME TIME!
          Kodiak Custom Fishing Tackle Pro Staff
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Rob B View Post
            Good topic. I was thinking about dying my anchor line around 50 feet so I would know I'm getting close. Thanks for the info on dying....
            Rob just stick a few strands of different colored rope through the lay of the rope, let some long strands stick out, its goes right through the windlass or hauler easily. Remind me if you get out here sometime i'll show the easy way to do it.
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            • #7
              Sounds great Steve. I'll try to get out there soon. I need some new gear anyway.
              27' Wooldridge Super Sport Offshore Pilothouse PRIME TIME!
              Kodiak Custom Fishing Tackle Pro Staff
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              • #8
                My wife dyes a lot of fiber including nylon for knitting and spinning yarn, do a google for acid dying nylon. There's a few companies that sell acid dyes in any color under the rainbow. I've even helped her dye fiber with vinegar and kool aid powder drink mix. A hank of nylon rope should be no different than a skein of yarn. Go at it, have fun!

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