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Topic: Favorite dyes for plant and protein  (Read 1665 times)
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chromegrrrl
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« on: July 27, 2005 01:31:09 AM »

Okay, I just realized in plotting out my next soap making foray that um... well... I have only really used assorted food coloring and KA to dye everything (this came up because this time I'm going to save the scraped off soda ash from my soap and use it to prepare some silk for dyeing.)

I don't like the results from most Rit or Dylon colors (the exception being Rit Navy Blue, which actually makes a decent denim blue on some wools.) I also realized that I do have the space for handpainting since I actually put away a large portion what my husband affectionately refers to as "arts and cr#p".

So *real* dye reviews anyone? Recommendations? Warnings?
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annalou
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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2005 06:48:50 PM »

I've had good luck with the Jacquard dyes--they have formulas for protein and plant/cellulose and that weird classification entity known as silk.

If I remember correctly, the plant-based fibers need the basicity of soda ash, but protein fibers do better with an acidic dye, with the exception of silk, which can use an acidic or basic dye.  To make matters further confusing, some silk dyes are heat-set rather than pH-set.

Hope this helps.  Feel free to continue to pick the collective brain.
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cmoore
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2005 05:21:42 AM »

For cellulose fibers, the best dyes are fiber reactive dyes.  Procion are the most readily avaliable, though there are others. Dylon's cold water dyes are procion. These are the ones that use soda ash, and high heat is not required to set. I have also used them successfully on silk but I generally use vinegar as an activator-and some heat.
And yes acid dyes are best for protien fibers, and work on silk. In fact when you dye with food colouring and vinegar, you are 'making' a type of acid dye.

Paula Burch's website contains pretty much all the information you will ever want about dyes and dyeing.
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sulicat
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2005 09:06:47 PM »

i have been using Jacquard acid dyes with very good results.  quite brilliant colours and they're easy to mix.

i am going to be experimenting with natural dyes this fall, and have been gathering lichen, various leaves and berries. apparently onion skins are great too.   i'll be posting once i get some results (will be awhile as i have to ferment the lichen for a few weeks).
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annalou
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« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2005 10:04:39 PM »

Onion skins are fun dyes.  In other natural dying news, I enjoyed an article I read this summer on solar dying with natural dyes--kinda like making sun tea.  Didn't get to play too much, though.
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chromegrrrl
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« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2005 12:24:34 AM »

Sulicat,
What do you use with the jaquard dyes to set them into the wool? I have used the soda ash with Jaquard and came out with brilliant results on silk, but I don't know how strong to make the acid solution for wool.
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« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2005 01:20:01 AM »

Ebay has a kit from Spinner's Choice that is super good to start out with.. It comes with 6 colors, called the Rainbow Dye kit I think. Anyway, I discovered that even after you dye the first batch, you get real neat muted colors off the old stuff...I mixed the dyes in one liter coke bottles. You  don't need tons of it really and you can put the rest away with the lid on it til you are ready to dye again. It is a Jaquard Acid dye. Their site is got it too if you don't see it there. It cost about 12 bucks and dyes up a couple pounds. I been using the original batch for a bit now...speciall if you space dye- OOO and check out the Twisted Sisters Sock book....super groovy stuff about dye techniques there...
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sulicat
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2005 10:00:47 PM »

Cromegrrl,

I just used a vinegar solution for the Jacquard on wool.  Worked like a charm.
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annalou
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« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2005 10:41:50 PM »

Jacquard makes both acidic and basic dyes--with the basic dyes, you use soda ash, but the acidic dyes require vinegar and heat.  I've heat-set mine using an old kitchen steamer pot.
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sulicat
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2005 08:35:14 PM »

yes, sorry, i didn't realize that Jacquard had two types.  the acid was so simple, and i've also used a rice steamer to heat set it too. easy peasy.

annalou: i can't wait to raid the onion bin at my local grocery store!  seems the onion skins make some strong colours.

i just finished an experimental batch of raspberry leaf dye.  if anyone wants to try, be sure to gather the frostbitten red/brown leaves and just forget about the green ones.  i got a nice taupe with an alum mordant, though i was hoping for something more grey.

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