Sunday, September 04, 2005

Q&A on Dyeing

Dear Melody,
I'm fascinated by your frogging and dyeing! Would you mind to explain a little more in detail how you use the microwave with procion? I have just started the adventure of fabric dyeing and would love to try some yarn as well.

Signed,
Anon Blogger

Dear Anon,
I use procion dyes for cotton and silk fabric and yarn. Procion MX is a fiber reactive dye that works with cellulosic or protein fibers. The catalyst is sodium carbonate and that is the fixer that makes the dye permanent. See the Lazy Dyer for more info.
When I dyed the silk/cotton yarn I wanted to hurry up the process so I mixed the dye with water and a tad of sodium carbonate and dunked the yarn into the dye solution, in a Gladware container. Since the molecules of the dye need to react with the fiber I know that they will bounce around faster if I heated them up a bit in the microwave. Since I had been using acid dyes with wool and vinegar, I watched how the dye was taken up into the wool more quickly as the liquid was heated in the microwave, and I guessed it would react similarly with the silk cotton yarn. It pretty much did.
I can't tell you how much dye, water, yarn weight or sodium carbonate I used, or how long I zapped the yarn, because I wasn't paying attention, and writing these things down.

So much of dyeing is experimenting and experience. There are tons of books out there on the subject, and even in my own library. I read them a long time ago and it must be in the brain somewhere. But really, in all these things, it pays to just play and see what happens.

3 comments:

  1. And the playing part is the best fun! I'm learning thatnot having any expectations about exact colours or patterns, and just enjoying whatever comes out of the dyeing process, is part of the fun.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Alhtough I don't know you all that weel, lazy is never a word I would use to describe you. I would say you are smarter.. why waste the time when it can be used to doing something else you love?

    ReplyDelete
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Hello,
So nice of you to drop by. I love your comments, and if you would really like a reply, please email me at fibermania at g mail dot com