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I made an attempt at dyeing some white cable sleeving, in order to make it a custom color for an upcoming build that is in the planning stages right now. Thought I might share my experience so far, because if successful, this could really open up a world of slick color combinations for all you modders out there.<br><br><b><i>Background:</i></b><br>
Upcoming build is going to be color themed after my Alma Mater, the University of Oklahoma. Those colors are crimson and cream. The crimson is kind of a deep blood red. The case for the build is going to get a custom powder coat to match the crimson color, and I want to try and make some of the cable sleeving match this color. Way too much maroon and crimson in the correct color to match any of the red cable sleeving that is out there right now. So, I decided to see if I could take some ordinary white cable sleeving and dye it to match the color build I'm planning.<br><br><b><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Process:</span></b><br>
First I grabbed some Rit dyes from my local Hobby Lobby. These are also carried at Wal-Mart and almost any fabric shop or craft store. They are available in liquid or powder form. For this first attemp, I grabbed some powder:<br><br><a class="bbcode_url H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833075/width/600/height/400/flags/"><img alt="400" class="bbcode_img lightbox-enabled" data-id="833075" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833075/width/600/height/400" style="width:600px;height:400px;"></a><br><br>
Looking on line, I found lots of ways, all contradictory to each other, on the best way to use these dyes. So this is probably going to be somewhat of a trial and error process to see what I can come up with.<br><br>
Eric, over at FTWPC, was kind enough to send me some of the old FTW sleeving (this was not the new 2.0 sleeving) when I told him about what I was trying to do. I had originally inquired if he could get the sleeving in a clear plastic, without dye, so that builders could dye it themselves. He said it might be possible, but that he was worried about minimum orders in doing such, without knowing what kind of demand there would be for it. I decided to test the "dye" attempt on the white FTW sleeving.<br><br><a class="bbcode_url H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833079/width/600/height/400/flags/"><img alt="400" class="bbcode_img lightbox-enabled" data-id="833079" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833079/width/600/height/400" style="width:600px;height:400px;"></a><br><br><a class="bbcode_url H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833080/width/467/height/700/flags/"><img alt="700" class="bbcode_img lightbox-enabled" data-id="833080" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833080/width/467/height/700" style="width:467px;height:700px;"></a><br><br><a class="bbcode_url H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833081/width/600/height/400/flags/"><img alt="400" class="bbcode_img lightbox-enabled" data-id="833081" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833081/width/600/height/400" style="width:600px;height:400px;"></a><br><br>
My first attempt was to boil some water on the stove, mix in the dye, and then put the sleeving in the pot:<br><br><a class="bbcode_url H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833088/width/600/height/400/flags/"><img alt="400" class="bbcode_img lightbox-enabled" data-id="833088" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833088/width/600/height/400" style="width:600px;height:400px;"></a><br><br><a class="bbcode_url H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833089/width/600/height/400/flags/"><img alt="400" class="bbcode_img lightbox-enabled" data-id="833089" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833089/width/600/height/400" style="width:600px;height:400px;"></a><br><br><a class="bbcode_url H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833090/width/600/height/400/flags/"><img alt="400" class="bbcode_img lightbox-enabled" data-id="833090" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833090/width/600/height/400" style="width:600px;height:400px;"></a><br><br>
Since this was just a test to see if I could dye the sleeving, I didn't really measure any of the dye powder, but I roughly followed the online receipe for a 'warm red #143'. You can try and match your particular color scheme using the Rit color picker at the <a class="bbcode_url" href="http://www.ritdye.com/colorit_color_formula_guide" target="_blank">Rit dye website</a>. I threw in a box of tangerine, box of scarlet, and a touch of cocoa brown. I brought the mixture to a simmer, and then put in the sleeve for ten minutes, and let it just sit in the pot. After ten minutes, I rinsed it in cold water. Results below:<br><br><a class="bbcode_url H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833098/width/600/height/400/flags/"><img alt="400" class="bbcode_img lightbox-enabled" data-id="833098" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833098/width/600/height/400" style="width:600px;height:400px;"></a><br><br>
It definitely dyed the cord. It's definitely not the color I was after, but it created a pretty burnt orange. Closer to the University of Texas, than to the University of Oklahoma color I was after. But...that just means I need to work on the "recipe" for the powder mix. I was thoroughly elated that the cord came out so well. Because it was in dye, there were not spots that were over or under colored. Everything looked very uniform, and not like it had been modded after purchase. Very nice.<br><br>
One thing that did happen on this first try was that the sleeve ends frayed very badly in the simmering water. In all future attempts, I used a lighter on the ends before putting the cord in the water, and I did not experience the frayed ends on any subsequent attempts. The frayed ends actually gave me a chance to see how well the dye was covering the braided FTW sleeve. You can see in the picture below that it covers every portion of every little cord in the braided sleeve. Excellent coverage.<br><br><a class="bbcode_url H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833103/width/600/height/400/flags/"><img alt="400" class="bbcode_img lightbox-enabled" data-id="833103" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833103/width/600/height/400" style="width:600px;height:400px;"></a><br><br>
For my next two attempts, I decided to leave the sleeve in longer. The picture below has my original 10 minute attempt on the left. The sleeve in the middle was put into the same dye pot, but was left for 20 minutes instead of 10 minutes. The sleeve on the right hand side of the picture was left in the pot for 30 minutes. Interestingly, they all came out EXACTLY the same. The light in the picture may not show it, but they all look exactly the same. I think it shows that the sleeve has absorbed all of the dye its going to absorb within 10 minutes. Longer times in the pot did not impact the color.<br><br><a class="bbcode_url H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833107/width/600/height/400/flags/"><img alt="400" class="bbcode_img lightbox-enabled" data-id="833107" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833107/width/600/height/400" style="width:600px;height:400px;"></a><br><br>
...and a close up....<br><br><a class="bbcode_url H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833108/width/600/height/400/flags/"><img alt="400" class="bbcode_img lightbox-enabled" data-id="833108" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833108/width/600/height/400" style="width:600px;height:400px;"></a><br><br>
After this, I started a new pot of dye, and threw in a box of wine color, and the rest of the cocoa brown. This was less dye than I had in the first pot, so my expectations were that the color would be a little less vivid, in addition to being more purple. The picture below shows the original undyed sleeve on the left, the burnt orange color in the middle, and the second color attempt on the right:<br><br><a class="bbcode_url H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833110/width/600/height/400/flags/"><img alt="400" class="bbcode_img lightbox-enabled" data-id="833110" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833110/width/600/height/400" style="width:600px;height:400px;"></a><br><br>
Probably needed more dye to make this one look better. Although the shade of color is getting closer to what I'm after.<br><br><b><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><span style="color:#008B00;"><span style="color:#008B00;">Closing Thoughts and Next Steps</span></span></span></b><br>
As mentioned, all of these tests were done with FTW sleeve 1.0. I would expect the results to be similar with 2.0, as Eric at FTW had indicated that they are made of the same material. Different plastics will accept dye differently. And there are methods available to make them accept dye better (adding acetone, etc.). I'm going to experiment with some different methods to see what makes the FTW sleeve accept dye the best, and I'll post some udpates. I also have some MDCP sleeve that should be here later this week, and I plan on duplicating the dye attempt with that sleeving also to see if it reacts any differently. I will post results and pictures once done.<br><br>
Also, since I will have multiple colors of paracord, FTW 2.0, and MDCP on hand, I'm going to work on getting some good lighting and doing a review that compares these 3 different types of sleeves. I need to pick which to use in my upcoming build, and since I'm getting samples of lots of colors so that I can see in person what they look like, I will post my thoughts and pics in case that helps anyone else about to make the same decision.
 

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This is a very cohesive display of dying so I'm subbed to see how the dyes play out in more sleeving <img alt="thumb.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/thumb.gif">
 

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Discussion Starter #3
<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1244335/sleeving-custom-color-dye-first-attempt#post_16996837" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>BlazinJoker</strong> <a href="/t/1244335/sleeving-custom-color-dye-first-attempt#post_16996837"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
This is a very cohesive display of dying so I'm subbed to see how the dyes play out in more sleeving <img alt="thumb.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/thumb.gif"></div>
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Thanks Joker. I'll keep posting pictures as I do it, but my plan is also to do a brief YouTube video showing the process once I think I have it right. Will post link in this thread.
 

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Great work so far! Keep me update on the progress. If this process can be refined and perfected, it could be possible to offer fully custom sleeving colors at a reasonable price.
 

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Thats awesome bud! Looks like it takes the dye well. Make sure to measure and post your mixtures for others to use as well as your own records. <img alt="thumb.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/thumb.gif">
 

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Nice stuff, wanna see more results with different colors!!!
 

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Boomer Sooner all the way. Can't wait to see this build.
 

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good job! looks great. good luck getting your color!
 

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Excited to see more results!
 

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I hope to see this work out. I've had good luck with adding vinegar to the mix after the plastic has been in for a few minutes for other things. Subbed for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1244335/sleeving-custom-color-dye-first-attempt#post_16997194" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mortimersnerd</strong> <a href="/t/1244335/sleeving-custom-color-dye-first-attempt#post_16997194"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
Great work so far! Keep me update on the progress. If this process can be refined and perfected, it could be possible to offer fully custom sleeving colors at a reasonable price.</div>
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Thanks again for the samples and excellent customer service. Yes, it would be neat to refine the process so everyone can duplicate it themselves.
 

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<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1244335/sleeving-custom-color-dye-first-attempt#post_16997481" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Lutro0</strong> <a href="/t/1244335/sleeving-custom-color-dye-first-attempt#post_16997481"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
Thats awesome bud! Looks like it takes the dye well. Make sure to measure and post your mixtures for others to use as well as your own records. <img alt="thumb.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/thumb.gif"></div>
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Thanks! And yes, I need to record the mixtures, because I'll forget them myself soon. Unless I can figure out a way to prep the sleeving differently so that it takes the color a little better, it looks like the final colors are going to look different on the FTW white sleeve, than they do in the RIT color guide. I'll document as much as I can along the way.
 

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<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1244335/sleeving-custom-color-dye-first-attempt#post_16997856" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Rognin</strong> <a href="/t/1244335/sleeving-custom-color-dye-first-attempt#post_16997856"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
Nice stuff, wanna see more results with different colors!!!</div>
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Will definitely have lots more upcoming. Feel free to shout out a color attempt and I'll include it in the future.
 

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<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1244335/sleeving-custom-color-dye-first-attempt#post_16997870" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Nayoka</strong> <a href="/t/1244335/sleeving-custom-color-dye-first-attempt#post_16997870"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
Boomer Sooner all the way. Can't wait to see this build.</div>
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Boomer Sooner baby! Was wondering if I would draw out any fellow Oklahoman's. You know the color I'm attempting!
 

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<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1244335/sleeving-custom-color-dye-first-attempt#post_16998084" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Kylepdalton</strong> <a href="/t/1244335/sleeving-custom-color-dye-first-attempt#post_16998084"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
I hope to see this work out. I've had good luck with adding vinegar to the mix after the plastic has been in for a few minutes for other things. Subbed for sure.</div>
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Kind of like with Easter eggs, huh? I'll give it a shot this week and see if it makes a difference. I also think I'm going to try and prep the sleeve by soaking in denatured alcohol. There is something that is not letting as much dye penetrate the sleeve as I'd like. Makes it tough to know in advance what the color is going to look like.
 

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you can use the multi button to quote and reply to multiple posts in one post
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ok. Thanks for all the positive comments. I did another little test tonight after posting that first batch of pictures. From the first batch, you will remember that it seemed that leaving the sleeve in the dye for longer periods of time....was not making the sleeve any darker. This is not intuitive, so I wanted to push the test even further.<br><br>
Using the same pot of dye I used to make that very last sleeve in the first update, I decided to leave some sleeve soaking in the dye for an even longer period of time. Results below:<br><br><a class="bbcode_url H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833496/width/600/height/400/flags/"><img alt="400" class="bbcode_img lightbox-enabled" data-id="833496" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833496/width/600/height/400" style="width:600px;height:400px;"></a><br><br>
Same result. The sleeve on the left was soaked for 10 minutes. The sleeve on the right was soaked for two hours. They look identical. Leaving the sleeve soaking in the dye for longer periods of time does not have any impact on the color. Weird. It's like the dye is only penetrating so far, or so much, and it doesn't take that long to do. Ten minutes gets the sleeve as dark as its going to get.<br><br>
More research online, ....and I found a guy that was dyeing motorcyle helmet visors...and he swore you needed to dip the plastic into simmering dye, then bring it out to rinse/cool, before putting it back in. He had to do this about 5 times before he got any coloring to stick on the helmet visor. So....here I go. I used the same piece of sleeve that is shown above on the right, and brought the pot up to a boil, and put the sleeve back in for about 3 minutes. Then I took it and rinsed/cooled for another 2 minutes for so. The I repeated the process. Picture below is after these two successive dips/rinses. It's getting darker!.....<br><br><a class="bbcode_url H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833506/width/600/height/400/flags/"><img alt="400" class="bbcode_img lightbox-enabled" data-id="833506" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833506/width/600/height/400" style="width:600px;height:400px;"></a><br><br>
So, I decided to do the same dip/rinse routine for 5 additional cycles, and lo and behold it kept getting darker. Here is what I ended up with (on the right), compared to the same one previously that had only been soaked for 10 minutes:<br><br><a class="bbcode_url H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833510/width/600/height/400/flags/"><img alt="400" class="bbcode_img lightbox-enabled" data-id="833510" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833510/width/600/height/400" style="width:600px;height:400px;"></a><br><br>
So it looks like I've learned that just soaking the sleeve in dye that had been brought to a simmer, achieves the maximum results its going to get within 10 minutes. You are wasting your time by leaving it in longer than that. If you want to get it darker after that, it seems like you have to remove/rinse, and then put back into boiling/simmering dye. The ony thing I'm unsure of, is if I would have gotten the same results if I had left the sleeve in the dye the whole time while keeping it boiling/simmering. I had previously turned the heat off the pot after getting it to the initial simmering and putting in the sleeve. For tomorrow's test, I'm going to do two sleeves in the same pot. One will be left in boiling dye for 30 minutes without removing....and one will be removed/rinsed/replaced every 5 minutes. We'll see which one gets more color to adhere to it. Also, I want to do some tests where one sleeve is soaked in denatured alcohol before dyeing, and one is not, to see if it impacts color. Also, at the suggestion of KylePDalton, we'll see if adding some vinegar to the solution impacts color. I've also read somewhere that acetone added to the mix can help color adhesion. Will need two pots going at same time for this test. Getting fun!<br><br>
Here are pics of the 3 colors I've done now, compared to the original white state of the sleeve. The second from left one is the burnt orange color that took just 10 minutes. The third from left is the next pot of dye that has more purple coloring, but less overall dye,...and the sleeve was only soaked for 10 minutes. The 4th from the left is from the same pot of dye as the 3rd one, but was subjected to the rinse/repeat cycle for 7 additional cycles.<br><br><a class="bbcode_url H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833524/width/600/height/400/flags/"><img alt="400" class="bbcode_img lightbox-enabled" data-id="833524" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833524/width/600/height/400" style="width:600px;height:400px;"></a><br><br><a class="bbcode_url H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833525/width/600/height/400/flags/"><img alt="400" class="bbcode_img lightbox-enabled" data-id="833525" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/833525/width/600/height/400" style="width:600px;height:400px;"></a><br><br>
Once I've finalized on a prep process (alcohol?), dyeing process (continued boil or remove/rinse/repeat), and a dyeing additive (vinegar, acetone, etc.), then I'll go back and do several color combinations that I think look cool, and put the dye mixture recipe's online with some pictures. Then.....its on to tackling those ugly Noctua fans!<br><br>
If anybody has any tips or suggestions on getting better dye adhesion on the sleeve, please pass it on. According to Eric at FTW, the sleeve is made of PET.<br><br>
 

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from the looks of it you like perfecting the hated longhorns color instead haha <img alt="redface.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/redface.gif">
 

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Discussion Starter #19
<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1244335/sleeving-custom-color-dye-first-attempt/10#post_16999099" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Nayoka</strong> <a href="/t/1244335/sleeving-custom-color-dye-first-attempt/10#post_16999099"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
from the looks of it you like perfecting the hated longhorns color instead haha <img alt="redface.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/redface.gif"></div>
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Hurts, doesn't it?<br><div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1244335/sleeving-custom-color-dye-first-attempt/10#post_16998889" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>phillyd</strong> <a href="/t/1244335/sleeving-custom-color-dye-first-attempt/10#post_16998889"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
you can use the multi button to quote and reply to multiple posts in one post</div>
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Wondered how people did that. But I learn quick....see! Thanks.<br><br><br>
 
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