iDye Poly is one of the few dyes that will colour polyester and most importantly also NZ Flax/Harakeke/Phormium Tenax. In fact, it will colour almost anything synthetic, including plastics and nylons, buttons, frisbee discs, Worbla & Thibra, 3D printed objects, toys, dolls, wigs, cleats, urethane coatings and more. The dye comes in a dissolvable packet, so there are never any messy powders to handle: simply drop the packet in a pot of water, add the fabric or objects and bring to a simmer.
Dyeing Phormium Tenax/Harakeke with iDye Poly: You can dye dried (pre-processed) or fresh Harakeke for this (it depends on your preference) but generally speaking the lighter colours will take better on an already dried material. You can either re-moist the bundle first or slowly immerse/curl it into the hot dye. Please be aware that if you boiled the harakeke before, too much of new boiling may result in the whenu disintegrating while weaving – it depends on the variety of the plant.
If using Green/fresh – be aware that the true colour may not emerge until the whenu are completely dry, especially for the lighter colours.
Cut open the “dissolveable pack” of dye powder and add to about 3-4 inches (10cm) of water and bring back to the boil. I do not use the colour intensifier as I think it does not make a difference to the colour itself but instead leaves a bit of a residue on the whenu (personal observation of course you may have other experiences, remember these dyes are meant for textiles etc not Harakeke so we have to adjust things a little!). I may add more as I go to achieve a darker colour or if I have a lot of bundles to dye. Best to do this mahi outside or in an area where dye splashes are no issue or area easy to clean up.
Rinse bundles thoroughly after dyeing in cold water and hang to dry or weave right away as desired (it pays to let them dry a bit though).
Clean pots between use with hot, soapy water and a brush.
Please note: iDye Poly will “bleed” during weaving (giving you coloured hands).
No salt or vinegar needed but each weaver has their preference.
Do not use too thick bundles as the dye will not penetrate the part where you tied them – my perfect number is 10 whenu per bundle but if I tie them at the muka ends up to 15 are good.
PLEASE NOTE: Individual results will vary – depending on the type and thickness of harakeke, amount of water vs dye and boiling time etc
For more information and colour charts and other dyeing advise visiting the manufacturers’ website: https://www.jacquardproducts.com/idye-poly