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Topic: silk fabric dyeing- vat or washing machine?  (Read 1348 times)
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« on: March 20, 2007 01:13:24 PM »

Please feel free to redirect me if this has been answered already; I couldn't find it on my search.

I have a silk dupioni dress that I'm dyeing before a major alteration. I know, I know, not a great first dye project, but it was purchased on clearance for $10 and if it comes out I'll wear it to my friend's wedding; if not I have a backup. Anyway, I have supplies I ordered from Dharma Trading- fiber reactive dye, and all the washes, etc. recommended in the silk-dyeing instructions on their website. I was going to go ahead and try the tub dyeing described on the site (http://www.dharmatrading.com/info/vat_dye.html), b/c it says that's easier than hot dyeing, and I didn't want to mess with acid dye. My question as I get started is where to do this:
If I do it in a plastic tub, will it come out even? I'll probably wreak havoc in the kitchen as I try to dump the dye water down the sink..

If I use the washing machine, is that more likely to wear on the silk? Will simply running a bleach cycle after really clear it for regular clothes washing again?

I'm a little nervous, in case you couldn't tell  Roll Eyes

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2007 04:31:49 PM »

I haven't dyed silk like this, but I just did yardage of fabric. I dyed in a tub and my fabric did not come out even, but I am OK with it because it isn't bad looking, just "variegated". It depends on how much fabric you are dyeing in how much space, which is why in a washing machine you would probably get more even color, but I don't know about the agitation, but even if you are dyeing in a tub you have to agitate it to get the color even (I was also kind of lazy and didn't want to sit there for an hour swooshing fabric in the tub.

If you use the washing machine be sure to run a bleach cycle and wipe down all surfaces dye particles are small and you may not see them until your fabric is spotted, and you should be fine. It is more of the dye particles that you need to be worried about then the dissolved dye in the tub or washer.

Goodbye Tucson! I will miss how everything dried so quickly!
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2007 05:58:16 AM »

Thanks, hoxierice. Glad your fabric came out a way that works for you. I'm thinking I'll go washing machine; just have to check if mine has a way I can set it to just agitate for awhile.
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2008 11:13:10 AM »

What I do sometimes when I am dying clothing is use a long plastic tub so I can lye the garment down rather than just shove it in a bucket. this can also be done in a bathtub but will take a good amount of scrubbing afterward. I very rarely get an uneven dye when I do this and I do not have to worry about cleaning out my washing machine afterward.

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