Problems and Solutions of Dyeing Polyester with Disperse Dyes

Last Updated on 31/07/2022

Dyeing of Polyester Fabric with Disperse Dye:
Polyester is the synthetic fiber derived from coal, air, water, and petroleum. Polyester has been one of the most popular fibers, second to cotton as measured by production tonnage in recent years. Polyester can be very difficult to dye properly. The dyeing of hydrophobic fibers like polyester fibers with disperse dyes may be considered as a process of dye transfer from liquid solvent (water) to a solid organic solvent (fiber). In this article I will discuss different problems and their solutions of polyester dyeing with disperse dyes.

problems of polyester dyeing

Polyesters are essentially undyeable below 70–80°C, leaving only a 20–30°C range for increasing the dyeing rate before reaching the boiling temperature. At any temperature, the rate of dyeing of polyester with a given disperse dye is very much lower than for cellulose acetate or nylon fibers. The rate of diffusion of disperse dyes into the polyester below 100°C is so low that dyeing at the boil does not give reasonable exhaustion. The rate of dyeing is higher for dyes of small molecular size that have higher diffusion coefficients. Dyeing is faster when using fiber swelling agents called carriers to improve the fiber accessibility, or when dyeing at higher temperatures above 100°C to increase the dye diffusion rate. Dyeing of polyester with disperse dyes have good light fastness. This does not always correlate with the light fastness on other fibers such as cellulose diacetate.

Dyeing flow chart of 100% polyester with disperse dye is shown in below:

Fabric load

Water level – as required

Raise temperature to 60°C

Add Feloson NOF

Raise temperature to 90°C and run time 10 min


Water level – as required

Raise temperature to 45°C

Add Neutracid RBT (non-volatile acid) and run time 10 min


Water level – as required

Raise temperature to 45°C

Dye dosing for 10 min

Raise temperature to 130°C and run for 45 min



Cooling at 700°C and sample cheek if shade ok then bath drop

Hydrose + Caustic at 800°C for 20 min

Hot wash

Acetic wash at cold temperature for 10 min

Acetic acid + Softener is added at 450°C and run for 10 min

Cold wash

Fabric unload

Dyeing Problems and Their Solution of Polyester with Disperse Dye:
Though dyeing of Polyester with Disperse Dye is very compatible, they have some problems occur during dyeing. Problems and solution are given in table:

Dyeing levelness
  • Compatible disperse dye combination
  • Disperse dye C faction
  • Disperse dye with good migration
  • Addition leveling agent
  • Compatible disperse dye combination
  • Not disperse dye sensitive to temperature variation (disperse dye °C faction)
  • Not by sensitive dye to pH
  • Not by sensitive dye to time
Colorresilience (Thermomigration)
  • Disperse dye selection
  • Softener selection
  • Beware of when drying process of end

Other problems of dyeing polyester with disperse dyes:

  1. Variations in the dyeing behavior of the fibers due to variations in their production or thermal pretreatments
  2. Hard water can have significant effect on the color value of disperse dyes
  3. Moir effect due to heat setting problems and uneven relaxation of fabric tensions
  4. Off shades is the biggest problem and it occurs due to combination of various factors

Following are also occurred during polyester dyeing with disperse dyes:

  • Oligomers
  • Pilling
  • Migration

Oligomers: Oligomers are still the biggest problem in wet processing of polyester fabric leading to variety of problems.

Pilling: Pilling is the formation of fiber balls on the fabric surfaces, when a group of loose, or short and broken fibers get entangled or accumulated on the fabric after abrasion. The tiny balls are pill. It cannot be eliminated totally, but it can be minimized by proper handling during fabric washing.

Migration: Migration is the shifting of the color to the surrounding areas. It is the unwanted reaction between the dye and the fiber. Migration is a serious problem encountered both in dyeing and printing. Dye migration is generally more on 100% polyester fabrics. It results in the coloring of unintended areas. Hence, any fabric containing the polyester is vulnerable to dye migration and bleeding.

You may also like:

  1. Dyeing of Polyester Fabric with Disperse Dyes
  2. An Overview of Polyester and Polyester Dyeing
  3. Printing of Polyester Fabric with Disperse Dyes
  4. Dyeing of Cotton / Polyester Blended Knit Fabric with Reactive / Disperse Dyes Using Jet Dyeing
  5. Polyester/Cotton (P/C) Blends Fabric Dyeing: Recipe, Parameters, Flowchart and Dyeing Curve
  6. Dyeing of Polyester Cotton Blended Fabric in Single Bath

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