DIY How to Dye a Mule Tape Halter (Polyester Pulling Tape)
If you are in the horse industry you more than likely have seen something with a Mule Tape Halter. They are becoming more and more popular because of the way they look and how soft the material actually is.
In this quick video I’m going to show you how I teach my students to do an Ombré Style dye job on a Mule Tape Halter. You can use only one colour and start really dark at the bottom and fade it out at the top or you can try using multiple different colours once your comfortable.
When I make my Mule Tape Rope Halters I try and find some Polyester Pulling Tape that is “unmarked”. This means that there is no printed footage markings on it, and therefore just plain white.
What Kind of Dye I Use
Usually I dye the material beforehand if I’m not doing an Ombré Style dye job. For this style I have already pre shrunk the material, let it dry and braided it to my desired measurements/size. There are two types of dye that I use for this material. I either use iDye Poly or Rit Dye More. Each one has some pros and cons. The iDye Poly seems to dye more vibrant colours but it tends to have a stronger smell. Also it will very easily stain anything that it touches so I don’t recommend dying Mule Tape on a brand new stove or near a nice countertop. You could buy a portable countertop burner and do it in your basement, shop, garage etc. The Rit Dye More doesn’t seem to have that strong of a smell during the process or one that lingers on the halter itself so that is a plus. Sometimes the colours don’t seem to get as vibrant but they still have some nice options. This will be up to you to play around with and find your preferences.
Let’s Get Started
You will need to use a large stainless steel pot (this is so it doesn’t stain). Read the directions on the package for how much water is needed, I usually fill it about halfway or 3/4 full of water but it depends on how large of a pot you are using. Get the water to a rolling boil or as hot as you can.
Read the instructions and pour in liquid (Rit Dye More) or drop in the packages (iDye Poly). It could take around 30-45 minutes depending on how dark you are trying to dye the Mule Tape. This varies a lot depending on the temperature of water, how much material, how much water was used etc.
Once you feel that it has gotten dark enough you can take it out and rinse it in the sink. I like to use a little bit of soap when rinsing it out to try and prevent it from bleeding for either yourself or a customer. When I dye single strands I actually put them in a washing machine with a tiny bit of detergent on a gentle cycle. This does fade them a few shades but I know that it won’t end up bleeding later on. This is a little bit of trial and error and will be slightly different for every individual.
If you would like to learn how to braid your own Mule Tape Halter you can enrol in the DIY Mule Tape Halter Online Course that the Braids By Brette Academy offers.