Can You Dye a JanSport Backpack? (Complete Guide)

Can you dye a JanSport backpack
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Do you want to transform your old JanSport backpack?

If you are getting bored of wearing an old JanSport backpack but don’t want to throw it out of your expensive bag, then you can surely give a new look to your favorite backpack.

But how is it possible? Can you Dye JanSport backpack?

Then my answer is, Yes, you can dye your JanSport backpack and give it a new life easily.

But you should consider the type of fabric before dying the backpack as dye won’t work on some specific type of fabric.

Here we will get to know everything about dying JanSport backpack.

Essential Factors to Consider Before Applying Dye on a JanSport Backpack

JanSport Right Pack Expressions Canyon Tie Dye One Size

What Material JanSport Backpack Made of?

Everyone always prefers quality when buying a backpack. There is no doubt about the great quality of JanSport backpacks.

The quality of backpacks majorly depends upon the material and fabric used while manufacturing a backpack.

Before going to try dye on your backpack, it is also essential to know, what material the backpack is made of.

Because there are some fabrics on which dye won’t work properly.

The material and fabric used to produce the JanSport backpack are differ based on the backpack.

If the backpack is for outdoor use, it should be waterproof also. So, the material is different for different backpacks.

The most common fabric used for the JanSport backpack is CORDURA brand fabric. This brand is well known for its durable fabric. CORDURA fabrics are also resistant to tears, abrasions, and scuffs.

Cordura fabrics are typically made of nylon, but sometimes they are blended with cotton or other natural fibers.

When Cordura fabric was introduced, it is first used by JanSport for their products.

Because of CORDURA fabric, JanSport backpacks are resistant to tear, scratches, rips, and other damages which leads to perfect durability of bag.

Is Your JanSport Backpack Water-resistant or Water-proof?

Before going to dye a backpack, you should consider that, is your JanSport backpack water-resistant or not.

Most of the time a waterproof coating is sprayed on a backpack which may cause to repel a dye.

You can do a simple test, before dying your backpack to confirm whether you will able to dye properly that water-resistant backpack or not.

Splash the water on the backpack and check whether it soaks water properly. If water beads up immediately, you won’t be able to dye your backpack.

If water is soaked immediately, it means you can dye that backpack properly.

If the backpack repels the water means it will repel any kind of dye also.

If you are going to dye a water-resistant JanSport backpack, do this small test before dying a backpack.

If you have a water-proof JanSport backpack to dye, there is the possibility of losing the waterproof layer due to the high temperature of the water.

So, don’t forget to apply silicone spray on there to re-waterproof it.

It makes the nylon a little waxy feeling but works as a wonder for waterproofing.

What Color is Your JanSport Backpack?

Before dying a backpack, you should consider what color is your JanSport backpack.  As the dye is transparent, it won’t show on a dark color backpack.

Whatever is the original color of a backpack will still be there even after you apply dye to the  backpack. In most cases the only color choice is to dye is black.

The pre-existing color is an essential aspect to consider and what would be your final dye color choice after dying it.

For this, you should know the primary color combination for the final output.

Eg. If you have a yellow JanSport backpack and you want the final backpack in green color after applying dye.

Then you should apply blue to turn out green for your yellow backpack.

Can You Dye JanSport Backpack?

As I mentioned, most of the JanSport made of CORDURA fabric. It means they are majorly made of nylon. The nylon fabric easily can be dyed.

So, yes, definitely you can dye your JanSport backpack.

Before dying the backpack, you should match the type of dye you use to the fiber of backpack is made of.

Cotton is not the only fiber that can be dyed, but there are other fibers that need different dyes to dye properly.

The shoulder straps of the JanSport use different materials. These parts of the backpack won’t absorb the dye.

How to Dye a JanSport Backpack?

Dying a backpack would be a great experience if you follow the steps rightly.

So, here we will get to know the easy steps to dye your JanSport backpack and transform it into a new one.

Things you’ll need:

Backpack to dye

Dye color

Masking tape

Large pot


Mild detergent


Wash the backpack

First, empty your backpack. It is always recommended to wash your backpack thoroughly before applying dye on it.

Read all the instructions on the dye label and try to follow them closely.

Save the JanSport logo

If you don’t want to damage the JanSport logo after dying the backpack, you need to apply masking tape over the logo before dying it.

It helps to keep the logo intact even after dying.

If you don’t want to ruin the JanSport logo of the backpack, you can also try this wax trick.

Coat the logo in wax. Waxing the surface will make it water resistant or water proof and it won’t allow the dye to soak in.

Here the wax will also act like masking tape does when painting.

Apply the dye according to fabric type

For dying a JanSport backpack, you should get to know what type of fabric is a backpack and apply the dye accordingly.

a. Dying a Nylon JanSport backpack

You can’t dye nylon fabric at room temperature. When dying nylon backpack, you should apply an acid-based dye and it needs to be really hot.

So, you should dye it on stove top heat. Heat the water until steaming and then add the dye in the water.

You can try this Jackquard Acid dye for nylon JanSport backpack which gives you an amazing final result.

b. Dying Polyester JanSport Backpack

If you have a polyester JanSport backpack, acid dyes won’t work. Instead of acid dyes, you should use disperse dyes.

For polyester backpack dying, I highly recommend, RIT Dye which is the most popular, reliable, and trusted disperse dye.

For dying Polyester fabric you should use this dye in a stainless-steel pot on your stove top.

Try to maintain a high temperature of the water throughout the duration of dyeing. Cannot use it in a washing machine.

As per RIT instructions, add one tsp dish soap to the mix. You can also add one cup of vinegar which helps to set the color.

Submerge the backpack into the hot water

Take your the backpack and submerge it into the hot water. Stir it continuously for 30 minutes. Keep the backpack longer in the hot water until you will get your desired darker or pigmented color to the backpack.

Rinse the backpack thoroughly

Take out backpack from the pot and dump the remaining water into the sink. Rinse your backpack with cold water and mild detergent until you will notice water runs clear and no soapy bubbles. Wring out the excess water from the backpack.

Dry the backpack

Hang the backpack in a well-ventilated space and let it dry thoroughly.

How to Dye a JanSport Backpack black?

You should follow just one additional step apart from above mentioned steps to dye your JanSport black.

When dying something black, if you want it a black color, dye it blue or purple primarily to darken the fabric.

Allow it to dry and then dye it black again.

At least a two-step process you should apply, maybe more, that depends on how dark you want it.

Is there any Alternative to Dying a Backpack?

Yes, there is a reliable option instead of dying a backpack.

You can use soft fabric paint which is closer to the dying effect. You can use Dharma Pigment Dyes.

For applying fabric paint, you don’t need to do the boiling process. It can be applied at room temperature.

But only the drawback is that the fabric paint can be applied only on uncoated fabric. It won’t work on coated nylon. It also won’t work on water-resistant fabric.

After the drying process, Jacquard fabric paints need a heat setting in a commercial dryer. You can’t use a home dryer as the home dryer is not getting hot enough.

Final Thoughts

So, now you know you can dye your JanSport backpack.

Dying a backpack is coming back in fashion in a big way. Dying is a great way to fill your bag with a burst of color as per your choice.

Everyone does this in their own unique ways. So, grab your unique JanSport backpack and try out dying confidently.

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