soda ash soak and dry before rinse?
  • Hi, I How long can I leave my wrap fabric in the soda ash soak? I have just put it in and was planning on doing the dye tomorrow then my lovely partner told me he has taken the day off tomorrow to take bub and I to the zoo for my birthday. The files here say 1/2 an hr to 12 hrs. Can it be longer? Or should I get it out in the morning and then spin and dry. I'll be doing an immersion dye. (Was planning to on putting it in damp). Also once I have dyed do I rinse immediately or leave it to cure/dry then rinse?
  • Hi Annah,

    What a sweet honey you have!
    You could leave the fabric in the soda ash solution for longer or simply remove it from the solution, squeeze it simi-dry and bag it for the day. There is no need to dry it and as you plan to have it damp for the dyeing you'd not have to re-wet and possibly compromise the soda ash saturation.
    Having said that, there really isn't any reason to pre-soak your fabric when you are doing an immersion project and, in fact, it could compromise your results. Generally, for the immersion method, the soda ash is added to the dye bath during the dye process. Best practices calls for immersing damp (water only) fabric in the dye bath for 20 minutes before adding the soda ash. This time allows for a smoother, more saturated dye job.
    If you've not seen our instructions here's the link: MX Instructions.pdf

    If you have any other questions please don't hesitate to ask. Have fun at the zoo and happy birthday!

  • For low-immersion dyeing it could be presoaked or not, and I've let my presoaked fabrics dry in the open air (why coat the dryer with soda ash?) and then stored for YEARS sometimes before I find them again, no problem.
    If left damp in a plastic bag after soda-soaking, they get a bit "ripe" smelling in a warm spot in a week or two. Be prepared, if dried in a lumpy bundle, you'll notice the drying layers will look white from soda ash drying up, but the fabric under it is still perfectly ready for painting or tiedying.
  • Lauralee,

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience.