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Topic: HELP! Dying yarn with Dharma Acid Dyes...  (Read 1782 times)
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« on: July 09, 2007 03:12:07 PM »

I had amazing results creating variegated yarns with Kool-Aid, but after a few runs I realized that I wanted to expand beyond the drink-mix's color palate, so I purchased some Dharma acid dyes.  I went ahead and did the microwave method, but I cannot seem to get the dyes to stop bleeding no matter how long I heat them and rinse them.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  I've got a lot of yarn to dye...
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2007 07:53:59 PM »

I dearly love Dharma Trading. Most of my dyeing has been with fiber reactive dyes, so I took a peek at the website to see what they recommend for use with acid dyes.

One of the products they recommend is Synthrapol; it's a commercial strength detergent that very effectively encapsulates the dye so that it doesn't transfer back to the fabric after it has been rinsed out. It's kind of pricey, but it's concentrated, so it lasts for a long time. Consider sharing a bottle with a friend if you can, as larger bottles are much less per ounce.
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2007 10:36:48 AM »

I use the Dharma acid dyes A LOT! I don't use synthropol, and I've never had problems with bleeding. I wonder if you might just have to adjust your method a bit. There are two methods I use, and for both I always have the dye mixed up into stock solution (5 half teaspoons for a small drinking water bottle).

Water bath dyeing: I get a large pan of water up to 185 degrees (this is minimum-the dye won't set unless it's at least 185). I pour a glug of vinegar in, then put in my pre-soaked fiber. Then I pour on my dyes for a watercolor effect.

Steam dyeing: I presoak my fiber in hot water and a few glugs of vinegar. Then squeeze them out and lay them on saran wrap and pour on my dyes. I wrap them up and put them in a steamer (like what you use to steam vegetables), get the water boiling, and steam them for at least 30 minutes.

It's the acidity (the vinegar) and the heat that will make your dye set. It sounds like one of those might be the culprit in your process.

« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2007 04:55:27 PM »

I do steam dyeing as well, but without the pre-soak in vinegar water. I soak my wool in plain water, wring it out, put the color on, and then spray with vinegar. I wrap my dyed and vinegared yarn up (either in plastic wrap or in a freezer bag) and steam for 15-20 minutes. I then let it cool completely (overnight sometimes) and rinse. I've had reds not turn out right when I didn't steam them enough, or when I rinsed too early.

When I have problems with dye not coming out, I drop the yarn into the washing machine, turn it to SPIN CYCLE (no water, just spinning), and that gets the dye-water in the yarn out. It's MUCH easier to rinse after that. Smiley

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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2008 09:22:23 PM »

Thanks for this info. I'm confused by the different methods, so I guess it's OK to find your own way!
I was taught (my first class the other day) to soak in plain water, wring out, put acid dye powder in container, add a touch of vinegar and then fill with water.

I've seen some people say to put mostly vinegar and just a dash of water. Not sure what's best.

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« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2008 04:50:23 AM »


Won't heating felt the wool yarn?
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2008 10:41:55 PM »


Won't heating felt the wool yarn?

There are a few things that have to happen to felt wool. Yes, you have to be careful about felting it, but you can do it. One of the things that helps felting is temperature shock. Going from hot to cold quickly. So after you have heated it you want to let it come back down to room temperature naturally, not by running it under cold water. Agitation, pressure and soap are other things that encourage felting.

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