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Re: [F-Costume] Dyeing Question

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  • carolkocian
    Hi Daniel, The reason they say to wash fabrics in cold water is to protect any dye or finish they have on them. In the good old days, linen shirts and shifts
    Message 1 of 6 , May 13, 2013
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      Hi Daniel,

      The reason they say to wash fabrics in cold water is to protect any dye or
      finish they have on them. In the good old days, linen shirts and shifts
      were boiled to launder them. Silk cocoons are put into hot water (not sure
      if it's boiling) to kill the worm and so that the fiber can be reeled off.
      So the fibers themselves can withstand the heat.

      I suggest that you take a swatch of fabric and treat it as you will when
      dyeing it. That way you can see the effect. A smooth fabric might get
      fuzzy, for example.

      Finally, there are cold-water dyes.

      Remember also that silk and wool tend to dye easily, cotton and linen not
      so much. Linen is more stubborn than cotton. It takes a different type of
      dye for silk and wool (animal fibers) as opposed to cotton and wool (plant
      fibers). You can buy the specialized dye, and Rit contains both types.

      -Carol


      > What is the appropriate temperature to dye linen, linen/ cotton,
      > linen/silk fabrics in? Everywhere I've looked online tells me that the
      > water should be at about 140%, but to also follow the fabric care
      > instructions, which are to wash and rinse in cold water.
      >
      > That comes across as conflicting to me, so I thought I'd ask my dyeing
      > friends here as opposed to working through a website that will only say
      > "well, here is what you can do with the products you buy from us" when I
      > already have all the product and fabric I need. Thanks in advance for any
      > information you guys could throw me way!
      >
      > Best,
      > Daniel
    • Daniel Sanders
      What is the appropriate temperature to dye linen, linen/ cotton, linen/silk fabrics in? Everywhere I ve looked online tells me that the water should be at
      Message 2 of 6 , May 13, 2013
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        What is the appropriate temperature to dye linen, linen/ cotton, linen/silk fabrics in? Everywhere I've looked online tells me that the water should be at about 140%, but to also follow the fabric care instructions, which are to wash and rinse in cold water.

        That comes across as conflicting to me, so I thought I'd ask my dyeing friends here as opposed to working through a website that will only say "well, here is what you can do with the products you buy from us" when I already have all the product and fabric I need. Thanks in advance for any information you guys could throw me way!

        Best,
        Daniel
      • Aurora Celeste
        If you put linen in hot water it will soften up and lose that linen polish look. I usually wash mine in hot because I like softer linen. Many manufacturers
        Message 3 of 6 , May 13, 2013
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          If you put linen in hot water it will soften up and lose that linen polish
          look. I usually wash mine in hot because I like softer linen. Many
          manufacturers of clothes nowadays are lazy, too, and either don't
          pre-shrink their fabric or use cheap, non-color-fast dyes and just put on
          the label "cold only" to get away with it with minimum complaints. If its
          fabric take a sample chunk (if you can spare it) and try it out.

          On Monday, May 13, 2013, Daniel Sanders wrote:

          > What is the appropriate temperature to dye linen, linen/ cotton,
          > linen/silk fabrics in? Everywhere I've looked online tells me that the
          > water should be at about 140%, but to also follow the fabric care
          > instructions, which are to wash and rinse in cold water.
          >
          > That comes across as conflicting to me, so I thought I'd ask my dyeing
          > friends here as opposed to working through a website that will only say
          > "well, here is what you can do with the products you buy from us" when I
          > already have all the product and fabric I need. Thanks in advance for any
          > information you guys could throw me way!
          >
          > Best,
          > Daniel
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Jehanni
          ... What is the appropriate temperature to dye linen, linen/ cotton, linen/silk fabrics in? Everywhere I ve looked online tells me that the water should
          Message 4 of 6 , May 13, 2013
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            --- In F-Costume@yahoogroups.com, Daniel Sanders <daniel.marcus.sanders@...> wrote:
            <snip> What is the appropriate temperature to dye linen, linen/ cotton, linen/silk fabrics in? Everywhere I've looked online tells me that the water should be at about 140%, but to also follow the fabric care instructions, which are to wash and rinse in cold water. <snip>

            Hi, Daniel.
            Partly it depends on what effects you're looking for, and partly on how permanent you want the color to be under what conditions. I started dyeing when I was batiking, and we needed to use cold water dyes so that the wax resist didn't melt. I've done cold-water dyeing in New England during the winter, when "room temperature" was 64 degrees F....and also in the summer, when it was in the 90s.


            Most dyes are affected by strong sunlight after a while: Procion MX ("cold" water or fiber-reactive dyes) are generally among the most lightfast, but it does depend on what hues you are using. Some dyes are affected by repeated washing: again, Procion MX are among the more washfast dyes, again depending on particular hues.

            You can use Procion MX dyes with salt and soda ash for cotton, linen, viscose, hemp, and other cellulose-based fibers. I also use them for silk, although the colors are not a brilliant or saturated as silk-specific dyes are. On the other hand, I don't have to set them with steam, which many silk-specific dyes require. You can use Procion MX dyes with vinegar for wool, feathers, leather, silk, and other protein-based fibers. See http://www.dharmatrading.com/html/eng/3246-AA.shtml?lnav=dyes.html for different kinds of dyes. They have some excellent tutorials, as well.

            The "cold" in cold-water dyes is not necessarily chilly to the touch: it means "not boiling", which many other dyes require. I generally mix my powdered dye with warm-to-the-touch water--up to the hot-ish water I'd hand-wash dishes in--because the dye powder dissolves better. But I fill my dyebaths with room-temperature water.

            Once I remove a piece from the dyebath, I rinse it in cold water first, because temperature does actually matter in the chemical reaction, and the colder it is, the slower the chemical reaction. However, since I'm rarely trying to match an exact shade or hue, and just interested in something aesthetically pleasing, I'm not devastated if a particular bath comes out a little stronger, weaker, or color-shifted than the last one. Wet dyed items look different, and generally 2-3 shades deeper than the same items once they are dry.

            An excellent site for all sorts of dyeing questions, techniques, and discussions, is http://www.pburch.net/dyeing/faq.shtml. I've never met Paula Burch, but I greatly admire her site.

            Jonatha
          • Jehanni
            Oh, meant to add: I have used Rit dyes, and while they are less washfast and less lightfast than Procion MX dyes, and you do need to heat them enough that
            Message 5 of 6 , May 13, 2013
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              Oh, meant to add:

              I have used Rit dyes, and while they are less washfast and less lightfast than Procion MX dyes, and you do need to heat them enough that you'll probably shrink cotton and wool, and destroy lycra and mylar--they are pretty simple to use, cover/color poly-blends that Procion MX dyes can't, and are readily available. If you're not planning to make an heirloom-quality color, and want something quick for the weekend, they can be perfectly fine.

              I prefer the fiber-reactive dyes, and they dye "natural" fibers like the ones you mentioned very well.

              Jonatha
            • Daniel Sanders
              Thanks for the replies Jonatha, Carol and Aurora. It definitely cleared things up for me. I am fairly decent at dyeing or tinting silks, cottons and wools, but
              Message 6 of 6 , May 14, 2013
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                Thanks for the replies Jonatha, Carol and Aurora. It definitely cleared things up for me. I am fairly decent at dyeing or tinting silks, cottons and wools, but have never tried linen before. I wanted to ask here before I tried it out on even a swatch since the info that I had read was so conflicting.

                I don't really have the spare cash to waste on ruining a fabric or buying more of the same fabric. Especially when I'm trying to save up for different silks and things to start an The Hobbit Elven armor project and a Thranduil prologue/ Elk mount project once the extended DVDs come out.
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