How To Dye A Grey Aerostich Roadcrafter Black - Kind of?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by TommyBBQ, Jul 8, 2017.

  1. TommyBBQ

    TommyBBQ More Road than Dirt

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    Hi all,
    Here's the deal: for a variety of reasons, I have (for some time now) wanted to change my Roadcrafter's color. I have a nagging feeling that its color shouldn't bother me, but it does. I bought it in 2008. Originally, it was grey GoreTex and a bit lighter grey Cordura. Pictured (WAY BEFORE):
    [​IMG]Me and the KLR-650 (2) by Thomas, on Flickr
    But in recent years the GoreTex looks almost lavender. Pictured (JUST BEFORE):
    [​IMG]BigSur2 by Thomas, on Flickr
    Well, in real life it looks lavender-grey. I tried to clean it. No luck. In the owner's manual, which I happened to keep, Aerostich mentions that some owners have successfully dyed theirs ("most end up black" I think was the quote).
    So I decided to dye it black. As with most things these days, I began researching with YouTube and Google. But there wasn't a lot! Not even on ADVrider, which is why I am creating this thread. I hope that if you're in the same situation, this happens to help you!
    More to follow:
    #1
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  2. TommyBBQ

    TommyBBQ More Road than Dirt

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    :: DISCLAIMER ::

    I am no expert. This is my first attempt at dying anything since... maybe 3rd grade with a tie-dye t-shirt???
    I am simply capturing my experience for your benefit.
    If you mess up your suit and are unhappy with it, I am not responsible.

    You should take some time to consider whether or not to try this! I did.

    ::END OF DISCLAIMER ::
    #2
  3. TommyBBQ

    TommyBBQ More Road than Dirt

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    This post is about the research phase.

    First, I found this thread: http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/aerostich-roadcrafter-dye-job.40900/

    I found a few pictures online too. One fellow sold his Aerostich Darian after dying it jet black. He said it eliminated the reflective qualities of the 3M material. He overcame that by ironing on 3M reflective over the same places. It looked okay. I can't find that on the web right now, for the life of me.

    Then I found a guy that wanted to dye his Roadcrafter red to match his bike. By the looks of his picture, he was successful at making it look like a vampire had a hay-day with him. It looked like curled blood. I thought it was great!

    So that was it for linking Aerostich with dye. So I decided to research dying synthetic materials. Which you can do...

    The next post will show what I found and what I subsequently planned (procedure-wise) for dying my 'stich.
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  4. TommyBBQ

    TommyBBQ More Road than Dirt

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    Prep:
    - Buy Dye and White Vinegar. (I chose Rit Dye Liquid (NOT SYNTHETIC KIND) more on this later probably)
    [​IMG]IMG_1405 by Thomas, on Flickr
    - Find big-ass rubbermaid. (I chose 35 gallon and used basically all of it)
    [​IMG]IMG_1407 by Thomas, on Flickr
    - Find big pot to make water hot. (I found a 6 gallon metal pot for crawfish boiling).
    [​IMG]IMG_1401 by Thomas, on Flickr
    - Clean Stich. (I used Simple green, a tooth brush and a scuzz brush).
    [​IMG]IMG_1408 by Thomas, on Flickr
    - Keep Stich wet (helps ensure that dye has equal chance of penetrating evenly).

    Execute:
    - Bring water to a boil.
    - Fill half of 35 gallon rubber made with multiple loads of hot water.
    - Add vinegar.
    - Add 1 bottle dye for every 1-2 lbs of fabric. Stich is 10lbs???
    - Stir
    - Add Stich.
    - Stir continuously for 60 minutes. (dye is heavier than water and will collect at the bottom).
    [​IMG]IMG_1397 by Thomas, on Flickr



    Rinse:
    - Rinse until the water runs clear.
    - Wash.
    - Dry.
    - Re-treat for weather-proof.
    #4
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  5. TommyBBQ

    TommyBBQ More Road than Dirt

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    Here's how it turned out after first session:
    [​IMG]IMG_1400 by Thomas, on Flickr

    My Observations:

    - The GoreTex turned blue. Very similar to the blue that Aerostich sells.
    - The Cordura just became slightly darker grey.
    - The reflective strips are STILL REFLECTIVE! Bonus. Maybe this is because I didn't choose the synthetic dye?

    My Plan going forward:

    - Dye it again. Maybe I can get it to look like Michael Myers!
    #5
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  6. TommyBBQ

    TommyBBQ More Road than Dirt

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    So I dyed it again. This time with 2 bottles of brown and 2 bottles of black (with the vinegar too). I was trying to get to a less-blue outcome.
    Here's how it looks:
    [​IMG]IMG_1402 by Thomas, on Flickr

    My Observations:
    - Still blue.
    - Indeed, looks like a version of Mr. Myers' Halloween suit.
    - All the scratches turned black and dirty looking.
    - The ADV patch is still bright white. Maybe synthetic will change that...

    [​IMG]IMG_1415 by Thomas, on Flickr
    #6
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  7. TommyBBQ

    TommyBBQ More Road than Dirt

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    [​IMG]FinalSuit by Thomas, on Flickr

    Now debating whether or not to try synthetic dye and get it even darker, or possibly to brown. Would it mess up the reflective strips?
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  8. HaChayalBoded

    HaChayalBoded Brooklyn Bored

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    I had a shelby with a black interior and found a set of original carpets for the front seats, the ones you lay under your feet.......but they were grey.

    I got carpet dye at an autoparts store. Came out great. It was a spray on and leave it the sun kind of deal IIRC.
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  9. vagueout

    vagueout Long timer

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    I have had success with black leather dye, not on a jacket as such, but similar materials (tank bag). I stress a dye, it brushes on like ink, not to be confused with those awful "colour change" paint like products marketed for ladies shoes.:*sip*
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  10. appliance57

    appliance57 Long timer

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    My 2 cents: looks good - let it go.
    #10
  11. digger2

    digger2 A Cad & A Bounder

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    I used the same dye but sprayed it on . Worked pretty good
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  12. TommyBBQ

    TommyBBQ More Road than Dirt

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    I rode with it and it looks great. Concur!
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  13. TommyBBQ

    TommyBBQ More Road than Dirt

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    Can you post Pics?
    #13
  14. digger2

    digger2 A Cad & A Bounder

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    Let me look around as I sold the suit.
    #14
  15. TommyBBQ

    TommyBBQ More Road than Dirt

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    I rode with the suit yesterday (to get synthetic dye) and decided I really like the color it is now. So I bought weather-proofing spray and seam sealer for the zippers instead of more dye.
    Ready to go!
    Overall, I would recommend regular dye as it kept my patches original and left the reflective material intact.
    #15
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  16. JensEskildsen

    JensEskildsen Long timer

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    Looks good!
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  17. Splat!

    Splat! Adventurer

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    Necroposting ...I've got a Hiviz R3 suit nearby in my size a guy is selling for good price. I was thinking if I could die just the bottoms. I just can't ...the whole suit hi viz?.....I just can't wear that. :sick How's the die job holding up, @TommyBBQ ?

    I just found this page about dying motorcycle gear right after I posted here. Interesting.
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  18. sprouty115

    sprouty115 Long timer Supporter

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    Oh no, I've been thinking "should have bought black" ever since i got my grey R3 - I just may have to do this....
    #18
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  19. jbuggyus

    jbuggyus Been here awhile

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    Have you used it in the rain yet? Just curious if the dye starts bleeding out.
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  20. dravnx

    dravnx Been here awhile

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    Anyone know how the dye affects the Goretex? Goretex works on a molecular level. It allows air molecules to pass and prevents larger water molecules to pass. The Goretex is bonded to the inside of the fabric, not the outside. I personally would not dye Goretex.
    #20
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