Need Instructions for tie-dye cords (microwave oven method)
  • I have some older tie-dye cords manufactured by Consolidated Thread Mills that I would like to use. Can't remember the method & instructions are long-gone for immersion in hot water. Do I treat the item in soda ash first (like for regular Procion Dyes) & then put item in plastic bag in microwave oven for how long & how hot???
  • That's the link for the instructions for Procion MX dyes. Are tie-dye cords made with reactive dyes? I have always had the strong impression that tie-dye cords made with direct dyes, instead. The instructions for tie-dye cords generally say to drop the tied item into boiling salt water, or just boiling water, and continue to simmer for half an hour. That sounds like direct dyes, not Procion MX dyes, which can bond to cotton without added heat. Soda ash will not help to make direct dye more permanent, unlike Procion MX and other fiber reactive dyes.

    Unfortunately, direct dyes are inferior to Procion MX dyes in nearly every respect. They must be set with steam or boiling, and the results are not very washfast unless you use a commercial dye fixative such as Retayne. Otherwise they are apt to bleed in the laundry, fading quickly and perhaps ruining other clothes that are washed with them.

    Direct dyes can be set by steaming instead of boiling, if you find it easier for some reason. Baking is not good because it is dry heat. Unlike fabric paints, dyes require moisture in order to bond to fabric.