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Old 09-01-09, 02:46 PM   #1
WCoastPeddler
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Re-dying faded pannier?

I have a pannier bag that was left sitting in the sun for a very, very long time and has faded from it's original black colour to a splotchy grey colour. Other than looking rather crappy, the panniers are in pretty good shape but I'd like to have the bag look a bit better. Has anyone had any luck using a dye on panniers to revive the colour? If so, how did you go about it?

The fabric appears to be nylon like that used to make backpacks.

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Old 09-01-09, 05:49 PM   #2
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Without knowing what material the pannier is, I can't really help you with the dye. But...

I know a trick that might bring back the old color. Get a quart/liter of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide at your drug store of supermarket. Check the label to make sure it hasn't passed it's shelf date. Now simple pour some onto the pannier. This can bring back faded colors on materials. Don't know how well it will work on a black, or was black, article - but it's worth a try. It does a great job on brightly colored fabrics.

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Old 09-01-09, 09:37 PM   #3
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I wouldn't do it. Half the point of having bike stuff is to wear it out, so people can say, "Wow, that dude puts in some miles."
I've dyed nylon, but with limited success--I wound up with a tint rather than a dye job. But this says you can do it with an acid dye, not something like Rit from the supermarket: http://www.pburch.net/dyeing/FAQ/nylon.shtml. Note that you have to simmer the fabric, which nylon will stand but watch out for plastic trim, if any.
I could be wrong, but I don't see peroxide helping. It's commonly used as a bleach (hair, for instance). If you Google "uses of peroxide" you'll find a bunch of 'em.
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Old 09-01-09, 09:50 PM   #4
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As a chemist, I know some things about the uses of various chemicals - found at a supermarket - that are not listed under 'Common Uses.' Such little nugget's as making an excellent, non-toxic metal-polish from grape-juice. Many others. 3% H2O2 ( hydrogen peroxide) is often used my stamp collectors to restore postage stamps that have faded in color due to exposure to sunlight.

Try it.

Another solution is using leather-dye - available at leather-goods stores. But be very careful - these contain aniline-based dyes. Very toxic and may cause cancer.
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Old 09-02-09, 05:04 AM   #5
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If the nylon has the urethane coating on the backside of it getting dye to stick is going to be hard, and anything like boiling will probably destroy the urethane coating (if it is even still in decent shape. As long as the bags are still functional I wouldn't worry about the appearance.

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