DugFinn's avatar
How to: Use Alcohol Dye
By DugFinn   |   Watch
55 11 3K (1 Today)
Published: April 1, 2014
© 2014 - 2019 DugFinn
I've gotten lots of questions about how I dye my wigs, flowers, plastics, leathers, etc. So, I created this quick little tutorial to show how easy it is to use Alcohol dyes. I still use RIT for fabrics, but I pretty much use Alcohol dyes for everything else in life now.

Especially wigs. Dear cosplay gods, this makes dying wigs SUPER easy! Just put the wig and dye in a zip lock bag, shake-shake, and presto! That, or put the dye in a spritz bottle and spray away! Great for creating pastel colors, vertical gradients, or using multiple colors that need to blend into each other in strange patterns.

I buy my ink at Jerry's Artarama, but I also order the 4oz versions (super amazing for wigs) off their web site, since they don't carry the "larger" sizes in store.  www.jerrysartarama.com/discoun…

Please Like my FB Page! :iconilikeitplz: www.facebook.com/dugfinncospla…
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Comments11
anonymous's avatar
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LYS-Cosplay's avatar
Really nice tutorial! c:

I have a question for you: I would like to dye in black a brown pleather to make boot covers. Would this method work? :)  And if yes, does it stays well if I wear them for a long time?
DugFinn's avatar
DugFinnHobbyist Photographer
Yes, but you'll need to put the dye in a spray bottle. The problem with pleather is that it's a plastic and most plastics tend to repel water. So if you dip or use a paint/foam brush, the dye will tend to bead up, like water drops, because the pleather is repelling the water in the mix (about 9% water). Not all pleathers do this, so you could do a test first. However, if you put the black dye in a spray bottle (the more it comes out like mist the better!), then the beads are too small and the coat is too fine for it to bead up. It will dry near instantly and will give great coverage. Just make sure to allow the dye to dry between coats. About 5 to 8 seconds between sprays for the best coverage. Also, black alcohol dye has a VERY unique property in that it has a red/brown sheen if it's too thick. So it's better to water it down and build up the coverage, than to apply too much black and have it shine red/brown. XD Good luck! 
yamibakura03's avatar
yamibakura03Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Nice tip! I stop using RIT except for fabric dyes since Im pretty much happy with coloring with sharpies or FW ink. Tho i have a hard time finding 91% since the only times I see %70 or %50.
DugFinn's avatar
DugFinnHobbyist Photographer
I always find 91% at Walmart and pharmacy stores like CVS and Walgreens. Try those places?
It's worth finding. 91% gives WAY better color stay because it dries quicker, before it has time to drip off, so the color grabs a hold before dripping off. 70% and 50% tend to stay wet longer, so the ink just drips off and the scalp area ends up lacking in color. Good luck!
yamibakura03's avatar
yamibakura03Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Yeah I know, thats why I want the 91% otherwise, the others make my wig drip color. I will check out the CVS store near my workplace because the one near my house never carries it :/

They did had an amazing Got 2b Freezespray sale like a month ago so I manage to snag some 3-4 bottles of got2b. 


DugFinn's avatar
DugFinnHobbyist Photographer
Ah, ran out of Got 2b a few weeks ago and I've been suffering with out it. Nothing else quite lives up to it's perfect hold like perfectness, heh. X3
yamibakura03's avatar
yamibakura03Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Yeah I know. thats why I prepared myself and got tons of it. Its been doing well with my wigs. I dont have anything complicated at the moment, tho I did wish some of the characters that I cosplay get crazy hair styles. I noticed Im more good at styling natural hair styles.
ElementalxGaze's avatar
ElementalxGazeHobbyist Artisan Crafter
Nice :) didn't even think about dying this way. 
DugFinn's avatar
DugFinnHobbyist Photographer
Good luck! It's one of the cheapest methods of dying, since a 4oz bottle of Pinata ink costs about $7.50, and lasts YEARS once you dilute it with 91%. WAY cheaper than harvesting sharpies, that's for sure! XD
ElementalxGaze's avatar
ElementalxGazeHobbyist Artisan Crafter
I have a bottle of acorn brown and midnight black dyes for leather. Other than that I paint my leather by using watered down paint paint and it works pretty well too since the leather soaks it up :3
DugFinn's avatar
DugFinnHobbyist Photographer
Yup. I've had to do that too. Leather just about soaks up everything you put on it - so wonderful! XD
anonymous's avatar
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