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View Full Version : Dying ACU - my take on it



Panzer
01-08-2011, 06:51 PM
PIK did a post with his experimentation with dying the fugly ACU
http://bushcraftusa.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18440&highlight=dying+camo&page=2

I have been thinking about doing some dying of my own. Recently picked up a Kelty Map backpack for really cheap. I love the pack but hate the color/camo. It's worthless in the midwest and is very bright looking. I wanted to dirty up the pack and make it darker and blend more with midwest woodlands.

Here is my first test on a ACU bandanna with RIT Tan Liquid dye soaked for 10 mins.

The pack in original ACU
http://pic80.picturetrail.com/VOL856/988928/10120387/394485473.jpg
http://pic80.picturetrail.com/VOL856/988928/10120387/394485472.jpg

The test dye on top of the un-dyed pack
http://pic80.picturetrail.com/VOL856/988928/10120387/394485474.jpg

What do you guys and gals think? Honest opinion? Should I dye the pack???

snakedoctor
01-08-2011, 06:53 PM
Awesome it looks like the MARPAT! I love the MARPAT camo its the best all around! I like what you got here! Personally I say dye it! Anything is better than the acu!

Geoffrey
01-08-2011, 06:54 PM
Looks good.

I may even try dark brown or black. Would look pretty cool.

:)

Skab
01-08-2011, 06:58 PM
I say go for it, looks great! But the pack may not take the dye as well as the bandana.

solocanoe
01-08-2011, 06:59 PM
Hey Panzer - is this your famous RIT dye? You've had great success with that over the years (to me, anyway!)

I agree with snakedoctor - it sure does look like marpat at a quick glance. :dblthumb:

ohski
01-08-2011, 07:00 PM
Remember the straps will probably not take the dye...
Ski

cloudraker
01-08-2011, 07:26 PM
I say dye it, if the nylon will take the dye. Which begs the question - Is there a dye available for nylon?
I've become a big fan of brown as a camo. If deer elk, cougar, etc disappear in plain view, it's good enough for me. Shades of brown are even better.

Sgt. Mac
01-08-2011, 07:30 PM
Looks good Bro, I like the new color more better

pik
01-08-2011, 07:45 PM
If the thread is polyester, that won't take the dye at all (you can see that on the pants I did), but I'd still give it a shot. I agree that anything is better than the desert pattern (in MN, anyway)... kind of blends in like a sun-bleached skeleton.

I soaked my pants longer, a few hours maybe.

If it turns out the RIT doesn't take well and you're feeling adventurous, you could try using permanent marker ink as dye. Not sure how that would work but rattlesnake_wrangler used it to dye a leather sheath black: http://bushcraftusa.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25174.

smokewalker
01-08-2011, 08:16 PM
I say dye it "I see You"(ACU) is the worst idea to come along in years.

Two Rivers
01-08-2011, 08:16 PM
I like that a lot better. Go for it. Cant do anything but improve on it.

OddTheViking
01-08-2011, 08:28 PM
Go for it, if it turns out poorly, you can always send the pack to me :D

Panzer
01-09-2011, 07:14 AM
Job is done! And the results are pretty good and what I was looking for. I never want to completely obliterate the camo but darken it and get rid of the almost white background color.
http://pic80.picturetrail.com/VOL856/988928/10120387/394494134.jpg
http://pic80.picturetrail.com/VOL856/988928/10120387/394494132.jpg
http://pic80.picturetrail.com/VOL856/988928/10120387/394494141.jpg
http://pic80.picturetrail.com/VOL856/988928/10120387/394494140.jpg

Comparison to multicam, woodland camo, coyote velcro and foliage velcro
http://pic80.picturetrail.com/VOL856/988928/10120387/394494136.jpg
http://pic80.picturetrail.com/VOL856/988928/10120387/394494135.jpg

Panzer
01-09-2011, 07:19 AM
side by side old vs. new
http://pic80.picturetrail.com/VOL856/988928/10120387/394494343.jpg

IllicitDreams
01-09-2011, 07:49 AM
Looks pretty good to me.

solocanoe
01-09-2011, 07:55 AM
oh yeah...that's better...heck I might even hit it again...but either way...that's a lot less bright/white/out of place in the woods. :)

snakedoctor
01-09-2011, 08:20 AM
Awesome job Panzer. Came out great!

dogboy
01-09-2011, 08:27 AM
WOW! That looks a lot better than I thought it would.

Man, this does not help me resist the call of the MAP. After all the Maxp fanboy crap I talked over on the other thread, I'm now REALLY wanting this pack. Especially the ACU, because it is the heavier cordura. Plus, while I agree with ANYONE that ACU has got to be the worst camo color to ever come down the pike for actual use, I really like it just for the color. I think it kinda has the whole futuristic urban wasteland look to it. The problem is, in ACU, it effectively eliminates itself from any really useful niche (other than if you're in the Army are have to wear the official camo). Too bright for woods use, and too tactical for urban, low-profile use.

What color dye did you end up using, Panzer? If I get one, I might do the same thing, but run it a little darker, even.

Panzer
01-09-2011, 08:55 AM
I used tan. I would start with tan and experiment with soak times. If you use the brown dye you might run the risk of everything going too red. Check PIK's post

woodsrunner
01-09-2011, 09:01 AM
looks good panz!

Nerual the Mad
01-09-2011, 09:09 AM
I took an old faded tiger strip shirt and dyed it orange just to test it out. When it was done my wife laughed at me and said it looked like I rolled it around in the dirt for a week. BINGO!

tford
01-09-2011, 09:11 AM
nice job panzer..........that looks real good.................

sarge1967
01-09-2011, 09:40 AM
That turned out real good Bro. Like others have said it almost looks Marpat.

geoforge
01-09-2011, 09:53 AM
I used dark brown dye as per the instructions on the bottle.
http://i842.photobucket.com/albums/zz341/geoforge/0032.jpg
http://i842.photobucket.com/albums/zz341/geoforge/001-1.jpg
These pics are after many washings.
The original color was more dark chocolate then the reddish brown now.
I do still like this color better then original acu.
The ties at the ankle were also dyed.
The elastic on the side bellows pockets were not dyed.
Any velcro was also dyed.
George

riley
01-09-2011, 10:50 AM
Awesome it looks like the MARPAT! I love the MARPAT camo its the best all around! I like what you got here! Personally I say dye it! Anything is better than the acu!

plus 50 on that.

riley
01-09-2011, 10:51 AM
Job is done! And the results are pretty good and what I was looking for. I never want to completely obliterate the camo but darken it and get rid of the almost white background color.
http://pic80.picturetrail.com/VOL856/988928/10120387/394494134.jpg
http://pic80.picturetrail.com/VOL856/988928/10120387/394494132.jpg
http://pic80.picturetrail.com/VOL856/988928/10120387/394494141.jpg
http://pic80.picturetrail.com/VOL856/988928/10120387/394494140.jpg

Comparison to multicam, woodland camo, coyote velcro and foliage velcro
http://pic80.picturetrail.com/VOL856/988928/10120387/394494136.jpg
http://pic80.picturetrail.com/VOL856/988928/10120387/394494135.jpg

That came out really well. good job.

ohski
01-09-2011, 11:38 AM
Looks like the straps took the dye too... That is amazing... I'm guessing that you are quite glad that you went for it.

Good stuff man, Ski

Buffalo37
01-09-2011, 11:45 AM
I say dye it "I see You"(ACU) is the worst idea to come along in years.

:dblthumb: What he said!!!!...lol....fugly design!!!!

Bergmann
01-09-2011, 07:18 PM
try adding RIT x2 sea foam green to a bath of RIT Tan and x2 Rit gray ..thats x2 on each in the bath tub..works GREAT..steaming hot water, let soak over night..hang dry

Panzer
01-09-2011, 07:34 PM
got a result pic? sounds good!

Bergmann
01-09-2011, 07:39 PM
got a result pic? sounds good!

Unfortunately no...I know what your thinking, with all the pics I post, how can that be? ..LOL..I used that mix a long time ago on a set of tan BDU trousers and they came out the most excellent earth tone od/brown/army green thing you ever saw...