• Hi, I just returned from a wonderful trip to Tuscany, Italy. I bought a beautiful silk scarf which is a light rose to a dark rose in color and it bleeds onto whatever I am wearing. Do I need to re-set the dye? How would I do this?
  • Well, the trouble is that you don't know what dye was used. If the problem is just that excess dye was not washed out after the scarf was dyed, then you should wash and rewash the scarf until it quits bleeding.

    If you're sure that the scarf is silk (or nylon), and not a synthetic such as polyester, it might be worthwhile to try to set the dye in it by rolling the scarf up in paper and steaming it. A lot of dyes that are used on silk are set by steaming.

    Most dyes can be set with a commercial cationic dye fixative such as Retayne. This would probably be your easiest solution. If your local fabric store does not carry this product, you will have to mail-order it; most dye retailers have it. The positive charge of the fixative attracts it to negatively-charged dyes such as acid dyes, direct dyes, and reactive dyes. (It won't work for basic dyes, which have a positive charge, nor for vat dyes such as indigo, which have a neutral charge.)

    Paula