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Dying Fleece Issues!

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by is awesome, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. is awesome

    is awesome Active Member

    Hey guys,

    So I recently got my first batch of antron fleece the other day and started dying it today, but I'm having some issues. I dyed it based on RIT Dye's website Green 3 #579.


    When I finished dying it, the smooth inside looks perfect, but the fuzzy fleece side is all pale and whitish still. [​IMG]

    Any suggestions?

  2. TheCreatureWork

    TheCreatureWork Well-Known Member

    I have a couple of questions...
    1) Was the water that you used to dye the fabric boiling?
    2) Did you pre-soak the fleece in water before placing it in the dye?
    3) Did you do a test strip before dying?

    I am finding that the new Antron is crap- it doesn't dye well and the seams don't hide as well. I suggest doing a test strip and make certain it is timed to provide you the correct colour you desire. The old Antron was a dream to work with but this new stuff isn't taking dye as good. You can re-dye but make certain you do the test strip first and you might have to leave it in for a long time to reach the desired colour. Also make certain you are agitating the fleece as it dyes. I use industrial gloves and basically agitate it by hand so that you don't get any "spotting". I recommend contacting the dealer you purchased the fabric from and address this issue with them so they can tell the wholesaler...I doubt things will change in regards to the fabric but when we all stop buying it because of it's sub-par properties, then perhaps the Pepsico Company will make changes ...but like I said I doubt it.

    If anyone else is having dying issues please post.
  3. muppet88

    muppet88 Well-Known Member

    Hey there

    I recently tried dying the same rit color of green with Antron fleece. I had one heck of a time getting the color to be as dark and intense as I wanted it. I've never had a problem dying other colors before using the rit formula guide. I think part of the problem is that formula requires so much yellow die... That it's tough to get a strong vivid color. I would reccomend using really hot water for the dying and might try adding salt to the dye bath (something rit reccomends to achieve more vivid color, but I haven't tested the salt method myself yet). I'll try and post a picture of the color I ended up getting. I had to dye the Antron twice.
  4. TheCreatureWork

    TheCreatureWork Well-Known Member

    The salt acts as a fixer. I'm telling you it is the new fleece- with the old Antron you had to watch that you didn't get the colour too "vivid". Now it seems you have to leave it in for hours. LOL
  5. is awesome

    is awesome Active Member

    Ya, I think your right TheCreatureWork. I left my fleece in the dye for 2 days and its still not quite there.

    I will defiantly talk to the people I got the fleece from and see if they are having similar issues or even if they have different methods of dying.

    Thanks for all the help!
  6. TheCreatureWork

    TheCreatureWork Well-Known Member

    Tell the person/company you purchased the Antron from your issues and tell them to tell the company they purchase from. I know Georgia Stage purchases directly from the manufacturer and will inform them of the problems we are having. I doubt anything will change but it doesn't hurt to inform them of the problem.
  7. is awesome

    is awesome Active Member

    Well I talked to the people I bought the fleece from and they said that I had to keep the water at boiling temperatures for a half hour for the fleece to be the color I want. I'm not sure if that should matter or not and I don't know if I will be able to keep it that hot that long in the plastic tubs I'm using.
  8. TheCreatureWork

    TheCreatureWork Well-Known Member

    LOL Half an hour! LOL Boiling temperatures! LOL The old Antron was much more easier...for sure! I just recently worked with the old Antron and it was incredible. I compared the old to the new and found that the problem with new Antron is that the fiber is much different than the old fabric. It seems to be "scotch guarded" thus repelling water and making it more difficult to get dark vibrant colours.
    Another issue I noticed was that the thickness of the material is a bit different- thus making it harder to conceal seams. When you do a ladder stitch and pull the thread to tighten the stitch, the fabric doesn't "gather"...instead it bunches and when you try to pick the seams it still can be seen. I thought perhaps my ladder stitch skill wasn't the best but then when I used the stitch on ordinary Polar Fleece the stitch worked it's magic and became unseen- even with polar fleece!!
    So I think the Pepsico company (The company who produces Antron now) is trying to create the same "type" of Antron, but doing it using cheaper bi produce of carpet fiber and then trying to sell us this less superior product.
    As you can see I'm extremely unhappy with this product as I purchase bolts of material and having spent hundreds of dollars on semi usable stuff is disheartening. I truly recommend saving your money and purchasing the polar fleeces you find in your local fabric store- not only will it send a message to the Antron people that we won't buy a crappy fabric, but it will feed money into your own local economy. Right now (it is my opinion) that the polar fleece is far more superior at hiding seams than the present Antron.
  9. Goochman

    Goochman Well-Known Member

    I dye Antron all the time (like a few times a week) and I don't normally have issues. I've found recently that the Rit powder is better than the liquid. I also tend to use more dye than they suggest. I do it in a washing machine.
  10. is awesome

    is awesome Active Member

    Ya, I noticed that I can do just as well at hiding the seam with the polar fleece.

    And I will have to try machine dying it.

    Thanks for all the help guys!
  11. Animal31

    Animal31 Well-Known Member

    I have used both Polar Fleece and Antron on my puppets, I love the colors available in Polar, but I can't say I agree it hides seems better than even the new Antron....

    Nor do I think it has the same stretch to it?

  12. Goochman

    Goochman Well-Known Member

    I have to whole heartedly disagree. Although I never got to use original Antron and I've been told it's superior to the new stuff, I still couldn't disagree more that Polar or Blizzard fleece is comparable. I have used all types of fleece and as for what's available today, I think Antron is still FAR superior in every way.
  13. davidmartiste

    davidmartiste Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the heads-up Tom aka TheCreatureWork. I have only recently started working with Antron and wondered why my seams didn't hide so well. It made me wonder "was I doing the stitch wrong?" I had a couple of swatches of the original Antron from a puppet making workshop I took a few years back. I decided to do a side by side comparison. I cut small swatches of the older and newer Antron. They were both sliced up the middle of the swatch and sewn with the same ladder stitch. The original Antron was obviously more wiry on the surface and the stitching disappeared immediately. On the newer Antron, the stitches were immediately visible giving that 'toothy' look. You know what I mean if you've worked with this stitch with any fabric other than the original Antron. The new Antron has a much smoother surface than the original and had to be picked and scratched in order to hide the seam better. Still, the seam does not compare to the one on the old Antron which needed virtually NO picking.
  14. muppet88

    muppet88 Well-Known Member

    Anyone know why they stopped making the original Antron? The original was 14oz as opposed to the 12oz they make now, right?
  15. TheCreatureWork

    TheCreatureWork Well-Known Member

    Pepsico purchased the company and stopped all production for a brief period- the original Antron was made from carpet fiber- this new stuff is still made from carpet fiber but (my theory) is that they use a cheaper more stain resistant fiber. I think the original also came in 12 and 14oz.
  16. Goochman

    Goochman Well-Known Member

    A tip for hiding seams with the current Antron....

    Get a small wire brush, like tooth brush size and lightly brush over the seams. it works well and is much faster than picking. If you want a look like the old Antron, use a larger "dog" wire brush on the entire piece.
    JacobsBest likes this.
  17. is awesome

    is awesome Active Member

    Ya I've never worked with the old antron, but I am just struggling with the new stuff. It's almost easier for me to hide it with just polar fleece. Probably because the antron fleece I bought didn't really dye solidly, so you can notice the seam through the color difference.
  18. TML

    TML Well-Known Member

    to get Kermit vibrant green I used powder procion dye. Kelly green with a sprinkle of RIT royal blue. Matches the MR poser (after many, many trials of types of dye)
  19. is awesome

    is awesome Active Member

    hmm, I've never heard of procion dye. How does it compare to RIT dye?
  20. TML

    TML Well-Known Member

    It's made by Jacquard. Used for tie dying. google it! They are more vibrant.

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