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Topic: Another dye question  (Read 1237 times)
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« on: March 15, 2007 10:17:33 AM »

How I go about dying a silk garment (camisole)? I've just read the dying jeans question posted earlier and understand mostly what was answered, so I'm going to assume that Rit liquid dye wouldn't work well. Which leads me to another dyeing question: I've dyed the bottoms of a bikini black with the liquid Rit (never put through the wash or worn yet) and would like to do a top; is there a specific dye for bating suit material, and is Rit just kind of a mediocre dying agent?

thanks for any advice anyone can offer.
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2007 11:50:30 AM »

Acid dyes are good for silks. You can find them online at various vendors (such as Dharma Trading), or in some stores (try yarn stores, or Pearl Art if you have one nearby). They are used in a tub with very hot water (one of those little electric portable burners is handy if you want to avoid using the kitchen), and the 'acid' is just white vinegar, nothing scary.  Acid dyes work on protein fibers - wool, silk, and also nylon.  If your bathing suit material is nylon, it will dye with the acid dyes; if it is polyester it will not dye with anything short of special and dangerous industrial apparatus.  Find a big enameled crab or lobster pot at the thrift store to use as the vat - don't use any utensils or pots that you want to use with food ever again. Rubber gloves (your hands are protein too) and a  respirator or NIOSH mask for handing the dye powder are also advisable.

RIT and Dylon are union dyes - they have a little bit of different dye types all mixed up. IMO this leads to a less than ideal result, especially since fiber-specific dyes are not particularly expensive and give much better results in terms of color intensity, light- and wash-fastness. Black is difficult for any type of dye - most are really just a very very dark version of a color. You usually need to use considerably (twice or four times as much) dye agent when dyeing black.

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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2007 06:41:42 AM »

Thank you so much. That sounds more labor intensive then I probably want to handle at the moment; but then again, if I really break it down and just get myself started I'll be fine. And it sounds that the best time to do this may be outside during the warmer months. Hmm... Some new things to think about, thank you again Smiley

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