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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Knots and loops » » Dyeing Rope (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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phill
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Has anyone ever dyed rope?
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DougTait
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Yes. Cotton rope only, however.
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phill
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Doug -
Thanks. Would you share your process?

phill
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DougTait
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phill; I use RIT dye and mix it according to the instructions. Get a narrow-necked bottle such as a wine bottle and pour the dye into the bottle, leaving expansion room for the rope. Long rope = larger bottle.

I strongly recommend rubber gloves or better yet surgical gloves while doing this. Thread the rope into the bottle neck. If you are dying the entire rope, attach a thread to it so you can pull it out. If you are dying only a portion, mark the stop point with a sharpie or a piece of tape.

Pull the rope out of the bottle while squeezing the rope between your fingers to work the dye into the rope and allowing the excess to run back into the bottle. Repeat the process again, this time removing the rope from the bottle and hanging it vertically to dry.

This can be very messy, so do not do it near anything you do not want colored!

If you plan to store the dye in the bottle for future use, be sure to label it so it can't be mistaken for wine or whatever.

Good luck!
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Mark Martinez
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Doug, what is the reason for the bottle? Any?
Might an old paint can work just as well?
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Mark

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DougTait
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Mark: It sure will, and I have done it with an old pan. I use a bottle because I found that by placing my free hand tightly over the bottle neck and squeezing the rope as it comes out it was less messy than when I used an open container. The container really doesn't matter, however. Be sure to do a color test before you dye the entire rope.
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Payne
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You can forgo the messy dying process and just make pretty much any colour rope you wish with one of these

http://www.store.allbrands.com/bonmagmacfre.html

It makes a very serviceable rope out of yarn.
It is especially good for making specialty cords of multiple colours such as is needed for the jumping knot of Pakistan
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Mark Martinez
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Doug, I think that that is a great reason for using the bottle instead of any other container... Let me make sure I have this straight. You pinch the rope at the top of the bottle and squeeze as you pull it out?

Also do you tie a small thread or anything to help you get the rope out of the bottle?
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DougTait
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Mark; Yes to both questions. This method works best for me, but any method will work. Just try to keep the dye contained and the wet rope from touching anything. Also, when you hang the rope to dry, remember that it will drip, so put something under it to catch the run-off.

Payne: The gadget looks interesting. Thanks for the tip.
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mdspark
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My limited experience with dying rope with the Rit brand was discouraging. I didn't get a nice deep color. It was more pastel looking. What was I doing wrong? it was 100 percent cotton.
DougTait
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mdspark; Let me explain that I DO NOT claim to be the expert at this. I have done it several times, all with the same brand of white cotton rope with good results. If the rope is not 100% cotton, the dye will not take as easily. If you test it on a 100% cotton T-shirt, the color should be consistent.

Did you boil the water before you mixed the dye? I don't know what else to tell you.
Smile
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Mya Angel
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When using a dye it will get darker the longer you leave it in.

Smile
There is nothing that remains so constant as change. Don't end up like concrete, all mixed up and permanently set. Smile



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sethb
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This is a very helpful discussion about dyeing rope. I'm interested because I want to make up backups for my Rainbow Ropes and Acrobatic Knot sets.

Two questions: I also bought some RIT concentrated liquid dye, and it states that you need to leave the object in the dye for 20-30 minutes and STIR the dye several times during that period of time. I can see why this might be so if you were dying a large garment or blanket, but is there any point in doing this when dyeing a 3-foot rope?

Also, how can I achieve a clean break between colors? I'm assuming that there is going to be some bleeding due to capillary action -- yes? On the other hand, maybe that will be an improvement, especially for the Rainbow Ropes effect. In any event, I guess I can't go too far wrong with $10 worth of rope and $5 of dye!

Thanks in advance for any additional tips and advice. SETH
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sethb
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Just for fun, I found the RIT Dye website, which contains some good information on applying dye in general and the various methods you can use, click HERE and HERE to view.

However, strangely enough, there is NO information on dyeing rope! <grin> So any specific pointers will still be appreciated. SETH
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"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
magicians
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I remember Zanadu magic (Art Kahn) years ago making the rainbow ropes at his home above his shop in Jersey. He had wires with 100's of ropes drying on his upstairs porch.
His dye was very solid colors, plus he sewed the tips of the rope ends. Of course, the tiny pieces were a pain to make.
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sethb
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Yep, my original set of Rainbow Ropes has wrapped ends.

The colors have faded over the years, but the ends never unraveled! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
sethb
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I stopped at my friendly Ace Hardware store yesterday, and saw a $10 galvanized 2-1/2 gallon bucket that looked pretty good for holding the dye.

Then the clerk suggested an empty 1-gallon paint can for $2. Who knew anybody sold empty paint cans (complete with lids)? So I'm going to give that a try. Also picked up a tarp, some thin latex gloves and a few wooden paint stirrers. My plan is to put the paint can of dye in a larger half-filled bucket of hot water, to keep the dye hot while it's in use, sort of like the steam tables in a restaurant.

I'll let you all know how this does or doesn't work out! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
dbaronian
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Don't know what color you're going for...but I have 10mm cotton rope with core in RED available.
BaronianTrading.com...your #1 source for magicians' rope.
magicians
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Quote:
On 2010-03-17 08:34, sethb wrote:
I stopped at my friendly Ace Hardware store yesterday, and saw a $10 galvanized 2-1/2 gallon bucket that looked pretty good for holding the dye.

Then the clerk suggested an empty 1-gallon paint can for $2. Who knew anybody sold empty paint cans (complete with lids)? So I'm going to give that a try. Also picked up a tarp, some thin latex gloves and a few wooden paint stirrers. My plan is to put the paint can of dye in a larger half-filled bucket of hot water, to keep the dye hot while it's in use, sort of like the steam tables in a restaurant.

I'll let you all know how this does or doesn't work out! SETH

that's a lot of trouble, what on earth are you trying to do? Doesn't someone make what you want. Rainbow ropes is $3 to $5 retail.
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
sethb
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Well, part of it is just the DIY impulse.

I agree on the Rainbow Ropes, which are much more work and a lot cheaper to buy. But it would cost about $35 to replace my Acrobatic Knot set. If I can make 2-3 backups for a total cost of $20, I'd say I was doing OK. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
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