Re: Dyeing help

Elizabeth Moncrief

Linda, I know you’ll get several responses to this as there are so many dyers out there, but here are my 2 cents:

I’m afraid you’ll just have to continue with your rinses until its over with.  Also, maybe too much dye powder to begin with…but that doesnt help at this point.  Dark hues require almost double the dye powder to get saturation, and its a hard thing to find that amount and not have bleeding or wash out for a long time. 

FR dyes are not a good choice for silk and the soda ash is terribly hard on silk fibers.  If, like some folks, you’ve used baking soda and heated it to ‘mimic’ soda ash, a combination of heat and alkaline environment together is worse yet.  

  Dharma has a a good ‘dye-set’ from Jaquard that Ive used in the past on my silks and its sets well with no adverse issues.  Ive even spoken with a very helpful David who answers the Jaquard ‘question line’ and this is what he recommended to me many years ago.  You might look into that. 
Cheers and happy holidays to all.

Liz Moncrief 


On Dec 24, 2021, at 10:45 AM, suki248 <caloosa@...> wrote:

My experience is with MX dyes and cotton. The Pro Chem instructions call for 140 F water to prevent running. How hot is hot? I would try going up to maybe 160 to make sure.  Tap water is not nearly hot enough.

On 12/24/2021 1:15 PM, Linda Schultz via wrote:
I need help/suggestions. I'm over-dyeing a shawl with navy Procion MX Fiber reactive dye, and I'm still getting colour coming out in the rinse. It's been two days now, and I've done about 15 hot water/synthropol soaks by now, and used countless rinses. The water is nearly clear (you don't see any colour in it when squeezing out the excess, just a tint in the water in the rinse bucket). But when I take the shawl to my steam press, my fingers start to turn blue from handling the shawl. And if I leave it sitting in cold water for 5 minutes or longer, there's a fair bit of colour in the water.

Does anyone have any suggestions for getting all the unreacted dye out?

I'm experienced with dyeing with fiber reactive dyes, and I've done dark colours before (although I usually work with medium or pale solutions). I know I have to rinse a lot more with dark colours, but this is way beyond anything I've experienced before. The warp was a 50/50 rayon/silk that was dye-painted with medium colours (yellow/blue/turquoise), and the weft was a darker commercially dyed variegated rayon (dragon tale yarn from Earth Guild) in purples and reds. I followed the directions exactly for immersion dyeing when I did the overdyeing. And the dye seems to have struck well - the shawl is very dark with a hint of the original colours showing through, which is the look I was going for. I just don't know why I'm still getting dye coming out - surely any dye that didn't react with the fibre should be gone by now?

I suspect part of the problem is the silk - there is a note on the Prochem site that fiber reactive dyes in dark colours don't work as well on silk. So the colour may be releasing from the silk. But again...surely any dye that didn't react with the silk should have rinsed out by now.

I've done a heat press, in hopes that heat would help set the dye. I've soaked it in a vinegar solution, and a salt solution. I've put colour magnets in the rinse water. I've spun it dry (front loader) to get more water out than I can with squeezing. But I'm still getting lots of blue in the rinse water when I let it sit in cold water for more than 5 minutes. My plan is to just keep doing the hot synthrapol soaks and then lots of rinsing.

Does anybody have any other suggestions?

Thank you,
Linda Schultz 

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