iDye Poly Review / How I Dyed My Stove Blue

May 4, 2012

I bought this dress from H&M three years ago. It’s such a cute style (albeit cheaply made and 100% polyester), but the color looked awful on me. I also purchased shorts in a similar color that were made of tencel. I dyed those last summer when I dyed the cotton voile used for my tie-front top. I’ll probably post about that process, too. The shorts turned out really cute.

I used iDye Poly from Dharma Trading. You guys. It’s amazing. I ruined a large pot and dyed the backsplash of my stove blue, but I think it was worth it. The instructions said to ‘simmer’ the fabric for about an hour. Lighter colors only require 30 minutes. I know what simmer means in cooking terms, but IĀ  misinterpreted those directions and went for a rolling boil. Yeah, it was a disaster.

How excited am I about this dress?


I cannot believe how well the color turned out.

fabric: 100% polyester


  • large stainless steel pot
  • water (I used tap)
  • iDye Poly packet in blue – includes dye and color intensifier
  • something to stir with
  • polyester dress

time: 1 hour

I forgot to pre-wash the fabric, so there are a few barely noticeable splotches that are darker than the rest of the dress. The dress has been hanging in my closet for so long that I didn’t think it would be an issue, but even oils from touching the fabric can affect the dyeing process. I even have the textile detergent! I guess I was just anxious to get started.

So, I highly recommend iDye Poly. It’s not messy if you’re careful and the results are impressive.


  • Sunni

    It’s such a gorgeous shade of blue! I love seeing these dye process posts from you! I’ve seen dye jobs in the past that have not been that great and yours always seem to turn out so wonderfully. Can I ask, does the dye from Dharma ever bleed onto say, your skin or other clothing? Beautiful dy job!
    xoxo, Sunni

    • stephanie

      Hi Sunni! Thank-you! There will be more to come for sure.

      My tencel shorts totally bled. I almost ruined a really pretty tan sweater that I always pair with them. So for the first few washes I’d keep the dyed piece separate and then be careful what you wear it with. It stopped after I wore them a few times. And the color of the shorts is that same. They haven’t faded at all.

      My cotton voile shirt has never bled and I’ll keep you posted on this dress. When I washed the dress, even on warm, there was barely any blue in the water. I think it will hold the color well.

  • Sara

    wow those are quite the dramatic results! it looks amazing. i love that shade of blue.

  • Ginger

    Wow, this looks amazing! I love the vibrant color!

  • Crystal

    Beautiful dress and I am really impressed with the color saturation.

  • Lizz

    Holy… that is a gorgeous color. I’ve hear Dixie of DixieDIY rave about this dye and have been curious to try it out. I really have no excuse since I live a little over a miles from Dharma. Like Sunni, I’m curious to hear how it holds.

    • stephanie

      Oh my goodness! Do you really? Do they offer classes there? I would like to try some different techniques – not just over-dye. The blog Honestly WTF has a couple of really cool tutorials.

  • sallie

    This looks fantastic!! That blue is such an amazing color – and oh my god so much better than that no-name color it was before!!

  • Amy

    That blue is gorgeous. I hope your stove agrees with me!

  • dixie

    Wow, I love that blue – so bold and vibrant! I tried iDye once in the washing machine and it was great – the color came out completely even with no splotches. I love that stuff.

    Haha, I just realize Lizz already beat me to it!

    • stephanie

      Ha! I went to your blog to look up your review right after Lizz posted! I thought that I could use the washing machine method for poly and almost didn’t dye the dress when I realized I would have to ruin one of my cooking pots. Oh well! But yes, it’s great stuff.

  • Maddie

    I once tried to dye a white dress with coffee and it was a disaster. It also has prevented me from dying anything since. Reading your rave reviews makes me want to give it another shot. It seems too easy to be scared of. And your tip about the oils from the tips of our fingers can cause splotches is great. I’ll keep that in mind when I muster up the courage to dye something.

    • stephanie

      Oh no! I want to try dyeing with tea or coffee sometime. Definitely try again. The iDye for natural fibers (like Dixie used) is convenient because you can just throw it in the washing machine.

  • Amy

    This is the coolest blue, so rich! I’ve always been curious about their acid dyes. My husband’s best friend lives right next door to Dharma and every time we visit them I always wonder if this will be the time I haul some crazy dye products home.

  • Lavender

    Puts Rit to shame! So fantastic! I love fabric dyeing, and am totally going to try out this kind. I’ve had decent luck with some colors of Rit, but nothing like this!

  • Lena

    Hello Stephanie,

    wow, you did a great job. This looks perfect.
    I’m looking around in the internet to find some dyeing project with iDye Poly that worked… and now I’m happy to found yours. Would you tell me at what degree your H&M-dress is washable? (I would like to dye a dress that is 100 percent polyester, too. And it is washable at 30 grad, that could be 27 degree I think. And I do not know if this will work or ruin my dress.)

    Thanks for trying this project. šŸ™‚

    • stephanie

      Hi! Thanks so much.

      Oh my goodness. That is really important information and I have no idea. I can’t remember if I washed the dress on hot or warm. But I BOILED it in water, so I really think you’re safe either way. Or just pre and post wash it on warm. Just in case?

  • Heidi Pomery

    Have been recommended using idye poly on a georgeous coat I bought in the local op(thrift) shop it is a yuck cream colour and am thinking “violet”, the coat is a dry clean only, has anyone had any experience dry cleaning & IDye poly??
    Cheers Heidi

  • Daughter Fish

    The color of this looks amazing on you! I’ve only used the iDye on natural fabrics, I’ll have to try this out the next time I’m converting poly in my closet:)

  • Heather Lou

    Okay, this “idye” stuff is very exciting. I caved and bought a pair of (beautiful, tailored, PERFECT) florescent yellow shorts at J. Crew two weeks ago (I’m not supposed to do that anymore but there was a sale, and I am very weak). I sat on a raspberry wearing my perfect shorts. I then soaked my perfect shorts in supposedly colour safe Oxy Clean. OXY CLEAN IS NOT COLOUR SAFE. They are now some weird tie dye yellow gross barf sad-making nightmare. But I see that idye has flor. yellow. And judging from your results that brand actually delivers a rich, vibrant colour. Crisis averted. Thanks for the tip!

    • stephanie

      Gah! That is such a sad story. Good to know about Oxy Clean, too! I would say crisis averted. Seriously. Check the instructions, but if you can stove-top dye cotton with regular iDye I bet you can get a really nice saturated color. Other bloggers have washing machine dyed with iffy results.

  • Lacey

    Have you ever dyed anything a pastel color using the iDYE POLY? I found these amazing white dresses I want to use as bridesmaid dresses and I would like to dye them baby pink, baby blue, and a light blue-violet. Just wondering if you knew of a way to get the colors lighter?


  • David

    Hello, love the dress. I do realize that these post are from May, but I thought I’d ask anyways…. Soo, I have just successfully dyed rubberized strap for my ski goggles! (yes, I have ruined my wife’s favorite all clad cooking pot)… I have never dyed anything before, but I stumbled on this iDye poly stuff and it really delivers! The goggle strap was neon pink and it is now black. I didn’t presoaked either… My only question is, how on earth do you get rid of the rest of the dye out of the fabric??? Do you wash it in the washing machine?? It is Saturday evening and I’ve been washing that damn strap for about two hours now and it still color the water black! Please help. Thank you,

  • theperfectnose

    bwaaaaa that is awesome! I used their poly dye in the washing machine (I’m renting so no stains allowed or I lose my deposit) and nothing happened. Or maybe something happened but only bees and other things that see outside the visible light spectrum can tell. Or I need a uv light or something.. Or perhaps the thing I dyed wasn’t poly it was actual plastic.. it definitely feels like plastic.. gah. This rocks.

  • sammi

    Hi Guys, quick question. I’ve got the dye and ready to rock and roll. But unsure whether the washing machine method will ruin my washing machine! Is it really safe to use in the washing machines. I want to dye two lounge seat covers so there is no way I can find a pot big enough!
    Should I just take a brave pill and try it?

    btw your cream / now blue dress is absolutley stunning!

    • EvaL

      Did u get brave enough an give it a go at your washing machine? I have a full pram of fabric that need re-dye but i am so worry that it would ruin my machine. it’s a top loader with a plastic tube in the middle…

  • A Smith

    I love iDye! Just waiting for a load of formerly pale khaki summer pants and shorts to finish their final wash in the machine after a stove top simmer in iDye Purple. My second batch! I can’t wait. My first round at iDye turned out amazing and so easy. Just be sure you get the right iDye for fabric type and whether you need salt or vinegar to set the colour with. I have a large “VV Boutique” found enamel pot and spoon dedicated specifically for dye jobs.

  • Emily

    I also just bought an H&M dress in a very similar color (and 100% poly). Like you, I hate the color and need it changed. I am very nervous about the dyeing process and am afraid that it will be ruined. Do you have any advice on how to set the color after it has been dyed? Thank you!

    • ZEDorDEAD

      a few tips i know from college is always pre soak your fabrics in water that has bicarbonate of soda or sodium bicarbonate not salt or the big brands (save your self money this way) the amount depends on the weight of fabric you are dyeing search google for bicarbonate dyeing .
      To fix any colours try and Tumble dry them after letting them drip dry for 30 mins it works on naturals so i am guessing it wouldn’t hurt it with polys either ,trial and error is the way to go test on some old polyester shirts or shorts is what i will be doing.

  • Melizza

    Oh wow! What a gorgeous color. This a fab review. I can see why this post is so popular!


    Cool post and one i found after searching about iDYEs for some cotton projects i have in the pan which are pretty new over here in the UK we are used to Dylon only really or industrial pots and i have never seen a polyester dye before that was retail, i always assumed polys could not be dyed unless they were pre-made that way (sublimation or other).

    The results are bloody amazing (in a yorkshire accent not london for the record) and this web page deserves to be up there at the top of the googlings and rightly so it has convinced me to use iDYES for my projects .

    Something i noticed you talked about dye transfer but you did not tumble dry the item after the dying process and this is what i did once after i had dyed a few shirts 10 year back using dylon dyes which my art teacher at the time taught us to do,
    it fixes the dyes into the material better and will cut transfer down 10 fold .
    Material dependent and may not work on certain fabrics but anything plant fibrous is fair game ( and we dried them after letting them drip for 30 mins)


  • jayjay

    Your article is awesome! I haven’t found many useful articles on the iDye poly so it was good to find yours. I have a white cocktail dress which I never wear (its a 57% cotton, 43% polyester blend). I went to a dye store and the lady suggested I use a combination of the iDye natural and iDye poly in the one pot.

    Have you ever tried this before? My dress wasn’t cheap so I’m a bit nervous to dye it (I’m thinking to dye it gunmetal).

    Also, would you say it’s okay to complete the dyeing process indoors? I have a small apartment and small windows so the ventilation isn’t great.

    Any tips you have would be much appreciated! šŸ™‚

  • Tempest

    Has anyone else tried using the pink idye Poly? What color was your water? I just tried and I think I got a manufacturer error because it was undeniably purple start to finish. I kept hoping maybe it would be like hair dye and once rinsed and dried it would change but no. Not at all.

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