Have a guide or tutorial? Post it up!
By SolidGoldCaddy
#41057
This will be a little tutorial on how to get your suit that GB1 color. If you want your suit more GREY add more dye packets, if you want it less GREY, use less than 2 packets. I suggest adding a little at a time(each dye bath batch), Remeber you can always add easier than you can remove.

A little disclaimer before you begin. Be very careful to NOT get dye in your eyes. And if your hands touch the dye or the dye bath, wash them before you thouch anything, or eat.

Materials-
*Flightsuit and any other materials you need grey
*RIT Dye (Pearl Grey)
*1 Cup Table Salt
*Laundry soap/detergent (bleach free)
*Washing machine
*Dryer
*Fabric Softener Sheets

Here is how I did mine, I wanted as close to film accurate as possible, without too much grey, so I stopped when I did and got it as close as I could to the movie.

First, take your flightsuit and remove the nametag velcro, and any other badging velcro or patches on the uniform itself.

Next set your washing machine on a small load and wash your flightsuit with detergent. Run it through a wash rinse, and spin. DO NOT USE BLEACH.

Then take it and put it in the dryer, be sure to add a bunch of fabric softener sheets. Im not exaggerating, I put in near 10. What this does is removes the flame retardant coating on the suit, making it accept the dye much better.

Next take and open all the pockets and zippers and loosten up the suit, so to speak. Make sure it is free of twists and is as spread out as possible.

Now what you want to do is fill your washing machine with HOT water. I set mine to a medium size load, I suggest the same, as it allows the suit to move freely, but wont dilute the dye.

Now take a large container you dont mind destroying. If you have one, use a large mason/canning jar, I found that works pretty well. Dump in 2 packets of the RIT Pearl Grey powder dye. Then the 1 CUP of TABLE SALT. Fill the jar with HOT water and mix until the salt and dye are disolved. If it all wont disolve, dont worry about it, you can rinse it out in the next few steps.

Empty the jar of DYE, and SALT into the washer. If the jar still has some dye or salt left in it when you dump it out, just put some more water in there and swirl it around to mix it and dump it in as well. At this time you will also add 1 Tablespoon of LIQUID DETERGENT, NO BLEACH EVER! Your dye bath is now ready, keep the lid shut as much as possible to keep the water as hot as possible. Hot water with make the dye etch in better. Set the machine to agitate a little and make sure the soap foams at the top a bit.

Now take your flightsuit and wet it in the sink or tub, saturate it. Make sure every part of it is wet, you dont want streaks or large blotches.

Now submerge the suit into the dye bath, make sure you push out all the air bubbles that form in the pockets, thats why you unzipped them all earlier. Add your elbow pads, pistol belt, and any other material you need grey. Once this is done you can set a timer, or make a mental note of the time, and plan to be around in about 2-3 hours. I took mine out at the 2 Hour 30 Minute mark.

Check the progress every now and again, wet clothes look darker than dry ones, so keep that in mind. Once your suit is a satisfactory color, you can move to the next step. If you arent sure, dont leave it in. You can always run another cycle with more dye later.

Now set the machine to a normal cycle again, with a wash, rinse and spin. BUT DO NOT ADD ANYTHING ELSE TO THE BATH. Run the cycle

With the suit and other garments spun dry, take them to the dryer and put them in, along with about 10 more fabric softener sheets. This will make certain the suit is free of the flame retardant chemical, in case you have to dye it again. Plus it makes the suit softer and more pliable. Set the dryer to low heat and run it through.

Once the dryer is done you can remove your suit and take a look. If you are happy with it, add your patches and hose connector and your done. If not, repeat the dye bath proceedure with more dye. There is no exact science to it since all washers are different, but you can guess pretty close.

I recommend taking a photo using natural and artificial light of the suit before AND after to compare, you may not think you did very much, but checking the photos will help you see what the suit looked like before and then you can go from there.

Well basically thats it. Thats how I did mine, and Im a fricken perfectionist, and very picky. Use common sense and good judgement.

Here is BEFORE, notice the highlights and lowlights

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And here is AFTER, look at the highlights and lowlights.

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Looking at the screen grabs and the suit in my hands, they match very close. Im glad I did the mix like I did and got it right the first time.

GOOD LUCK GUYS!
Last edited by SolidGoldCaddy on March 10th, 2008, 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ArtisanFX, elise-noelle liked this
User avatar
By irricanian
#41060
Sounds good, can you post a picture of your finished suit for comparison? Also how did your elbow pads turn out using this method, do you have a picture of them as well you could post?

I'm about to do my new suit so this will help alot, my last one was just left Khaki but I want to go more accurate this time around. I got a Nomex suit and defender elbow pads.

Thanks for the tutorial!
By SolidGoldCaddy
#41063
Sounds good, can you post a picture of your finished suit for comparison? Also how did your elbow pads turn out using this method, do you have a picture of them as well you could post?

I'm about to do my new suit so this will help alot, my last one was just left Khaki but I want to go more accurate this time around. I got a Nomex suit and defender elbow pads.

Thanks for the tutorial!
Those are the exact same items I had. I love how the suit turned out. I couldnt be more pleased. The elbow pads had the notorious "bubble didnt dye" problem, but the elastic part dyed ok. I think I am going to do the pads in their own bath again, and use more dye, looking at screen grabs, they need to be a little darker.

I added pics of before and after to the top post. The suit was desert tan CWU/27-P suit, and the pads were the white defenders.
By SolidGoldCaddy
#41142
The more I compare, the closer I think it looks to screen accurate. You wont be able to photo it as well as seeing it and comparing it. You will know what I mean once you do it, its kind of hard to explain.

I also added the patches to mine today. It looks great.
User avatar
By irricanian
#41152
What luck! My suit and the RIT pearl Gray dye both arrived today, what are the odds of that? I should run out and buy a lottery ticket :lol:

I also got my Corcoran jump boots the other day and my web belt from AJ. Can't wait to get it all together....now I just got to get some time for pack building :)
By SolidGoldCaddy
#41264
What luck! My suit and the RIT pearl Gray dye both arrived today, what are the odds of that? I should run out and buy a lottery ticket :lol:

I also got my Corcoran jump boots the other day and my web belt from AJ. Can't wait to get it all together....now I just got to get some time for pack building :)
Hell yeah. Dye that thing and get those patches on. I ironed mine on. The one from AJ at the GB shop stayed on perfect. The sewn one from Kattara8 or whatever on ebay, the iron on transfer worked, but it peels up a little in the corners. And since the pack straps rub right there, I think I will sew mine on just to be safe.

If you Iron yours on, place a small thin towel, or wax paper over the patch, then heat up the iron to high. HOLD the iron in one place for 15-20 seconds at a time, then place your hand over the wax paper or towel and really press that patch into the fibers of the suit. After that, DONT MOVE OR TOUCH IT. The adhesive stays pliable for a few minutes after, and you can ruin the job if you move it. Just looking out for ya. I almost boner'd mine up getting to antsy.

:cool:
By SolidGoldCaddy
#41833
I also wanted to add that after you use alot of dryer sheets, you will want to clean out the lint trap. The dryer sheets have a waxy coating that transfers to the lint screen and plugs the dyers vent up. Make sure to clean this out before and after. You dont want to ruin your dryer guys.
User avatar
By EgonsGlasses
#42549
Hi all!

Great advice SolidGoldCaddy, this is much appreciated!

I have a question/concern about my washing machine!

I have a horizontal loading machine and I've watched it wash other clothes and it doesn't really allow the clothes to be fully submerged in the water. Also, it sounds like it drains and brings in new water repeatedly throughout the wash. I don't want it to drain my dye bath away and waste the dye.

I Image

I may opt to fill a large wash tub/sink with really hot water and stir it, but there's no lid on the tub/sink so the water might cool, unless I keep adding hot water, which might dilute the dye bath.

Anybody have experience using this type of washer?

Thanks in advance!
By SolidGoldCaddy
#42625
EG, I have no experience with that type of machine. However, if you fill a tub with hot water and place a sheet of cardboard over the top, tape it down even, that may hold in the heat. Corrigated cardboard will be a pretty good insulator. The water is going to cool a certain degree, but make it as hot as you can, and BE SURE to add the salt and detergent (pre dissolved) as they etch the dye into the garment. Also wash your suit once prior to the dye bath to remove any contaminants. Then besure to use dryer sheets to help take off some of the fireproofing if you bought the Nomex suit.
By SolidGoldCaddy
#42713
Great tips, thank you!

I never thought of putting cardboard over the washtub, nice!

Aside from the machine, I will follow your directions exactly, can't wait till my suit and dye arrive to try it out!

Thanks again!
Remember mine was for a nomex suit only. I dont know what it will do to other materials, as far as color saturation.
User avatar
By bradboss12
#42800
NOW I read this thread! grrrrrrrr I thought you couldn't die Nomex--(I put pure bleach on it--zip, nada, nothing!!!) so i mixed up some latex house paint with some slush latex and a little water. It "dyed" it into a kelly green instead of olive drab .Don't think the paint will come out now... : )
By SolidGoldCaddy
#42845
NOW I read this thread! grrrrrrrr I thought you couldn't die Nomex--(I put pure bleach on it--zip, nada, nothing!!!) so i mixed up some latex house paint with some slush latex and a little water. It "dyed" it into a kelly green instead of olive drab .Don't think the paint will come out now... : )
Why the fiddler's f*** would you PAINT a flightsuit?!?! Man.

Egon, mine was desert tan as well.
By SolidGoldCaddy
#42860

Why the fiddler's f*** would you PAINT a flightsuit?!?! Man.
oh, well, I figured I couldn't dye it, and I didn't have money for a new one. So, I improvised. : )
With all the DYE topics at your fingertips you thought you couldnt dye it? :sigh:
User avatar
By bradboss12
#42883
Well, as i was doing research for my new pack, I read articles about how there are scientists that are working on the problem, and conventional wisdom is that Nomex materials don't stain. Add this to the fact that I dumped Clorox bleach on it and it did nothing, and i figured that was that! Ah, well, my boss is scoping out a yard sale for me, and maybe I'll get a new (cheap) flightsuit or coveralls : )
User avatar
By EgonsGlasses
#43923
Well, tomorrow's the big day!

I'll be dying the suit! I found this big plastic storage container with a lid that I'll be using. Should keep the heat in better than the wash tub and cardboard.

Also, I can agitate the suit by just shaking the container and won't need to remove the lid to stir it, which should also help conceal the heat.

Can't wait to see how it turns out!

Thanks again and wish me luck!
User avatar
By EgonsGlasses
#43968
Well...


Success!

I used Solidgoldcaddy's directions to a tee except that I loaded the flight suit into a black plastic storage container instead of a washing machine. I shook it around for a few minutes every 1/2 hour or so and let it soak for 2.5 hours!

It looks great! I'll post pics when I can...
By SolidGoldCaddy
#44002
Did you machine wash it prior to the dye? Im curious to see how well it came out. I just winged it on mine. I used other recommendations. But mainly just put in a small ammount of dye and hoped it wasnt too dark. Yeah, post pics with and without flash when you can.
User avatar
By EgonsGlasses
#44264
Here are the exact steps I used to dye my suit. I'm still working on getting the pics online, lol!

I removed the nametag velcro before starting these steps!

Step 1: Wash the suit with liquid detergent

2: Dry the suit with 10 dryer sheets. Cleaned lint trap before and after.

3: Prepared dye bath. Placed 2 packets of Rit Pearl Grey in a large jar. Added 1 cup of salt. Mixed with hot water.

4: Filled large black storage container with hot water.

5: Drenched the suit in the container, zippers open. Removed suit from container.

6: Dumped the dye bath jar in the large storage container. Added 1 tbls of liquid detergent.

7: Added suit to the large container in the dye bath. removed air bubbles in the flight suit. Closed the lid and shook the container around for a minute or two.

8: Let the suit sit in the dye bath for 2.5 hours. Agitated the container for a minute or two about every half hour.

9: Removed suit from dye bath. Washed in washing machine with nothing added to the wash. Dried the suit with 10 more dryer sheets.

10: Put on suit and busted ghosts!

Thanks again SolidGoldCaddy!
User avatar
By Dreamstalker
#52418
I have a horizontal loading machine and I've watched it wash other clothes and it doesn't really allow the clothes to be fully submerged in the water. Also, it sounds like it drains and brings in new water repeatedly throughout the wash. I don't want it to drain my dye bath away and waste the dye.
My mom has one of those machines, we don't have a permanent water line for the thing so have to hook it up to the sink so it's slightly easier to see what it does. I'm not 100% sure but from what I've observed that's what happens.

Would a variation on this method work for the poly/cotton suits? I can't seem to find the Nomex suits in my size, so until that happens...

Egon, what kind of container was it? I don't have a washing machine in my place, sink's way too small and I don't want to risk ruining the bathtub.
By SolidGoldCaddy
#65755
Would this not damage the washing machine?

If I were to wash a load of white clothes after this process, would they all come out gray?
Rit recommends you run an empty load with hot water right after dying anything in a washer. Put in the detergent and start a cycle but dont put in any clothing. This will clean the washer and then you can resume washing normally.
User avatar
By Exoray
#65768
Would this not damage the washing machine?

If I were to wash a load of white clothes after this process, would they all come out gray?
Well I usually dye at the "small" load water level then afterwards do an empty "large" load water level with soap and 2 cups bleach...
By SolidGoldCaddy
#65811
Would this not damage the washing machine?

If I were to wash a load of white clothes after this process, would they all come out gray?
Well I usually dye at the "small" load water level then afterwards do an empty "large" load water level with soap and 2 cups bleach...
Thats the way to do it anyways. The less water, the more potent the dye mix is, and in tern, has to sit in the dye for less time.
By SolidGoldCaddy
#74335
Hey guys, just want to say thanks for the messages about the tutorial working well for you all. Hope your suits turn out great. Post pics of finished ones so others working on getting suits can see as well. Here is an updated pic of my suit with flash and all my GB items.

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