Does Rit Fabric Dye Work on Nylon?

by Laurel Storm ; Updated September 28, 2017

Rit Dye is a common, all-purpose fabric dye which can be used to on many types of materials, including items made fully or partially of nylon. Other dyes, however, may offer better results.


All-purpose dye such as Rit is a type of hot water dye containing a mixture of different dyes. It contains both acid dye, used for dyeing animal fibers as well as artificial materials such as nylon, and direct dye, used for dyeing plant-based fibers such as cotton and linen.


All-purpose dye is at its best when used to dye fabrics made from mixed materials. If the fabric you wish to dye is only partially nylon and also contains plant-based fibers, using an all-purpose dye will offer the best results, as both types of dyes present in the mix find a use. If, however, the fabric you wish to dye is entirely nylon, you will obtain better results using an acid dye instead of a mixed one.

Fun fact

It is possible to dye nylon using food coloring or colorful drink mixes such as Kool-Aid. This is because food coloring belongs to the acid class of dyes; it attaches to animal fibers as well as nylon by forming ionic and hydrogen bonds. Dying clothes with food coloring can be a fun, safe project for kids to do.

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About the Author

Laurel Storm has been writing since 2001, and helping people with technology for far longer than that. Some of her articles have been published in "Messaggero dei Ragazzi", an Italian magazine for teenagers. She holds a Master of Arts in writing for television and new media from the University of Turin.