Cherry Red and Fire Red clotting
  • I have noticed that two of my jacquard acid dyes, cherry red and fire red, become clotty and clumpy when mixed with water. This happens regardless of whether I am mixing them with a lot of water (and citric acid) for vat dyeing, or whether I'm mixing them concentrated in small amounts of water for painting.

    It is not the same as dyes that take a while to dissolve. In the case of these reds, it is as though the dye itself has some kind of thickening agent that doesn't go away with stirring or heating. If I use these dyes, they inevitably throw dark blotches on my fabric.

    Does anyone have a solution?
  • Hi Mac,

    Hummm - I would have said there was a solubility ratio issue, but the varying amounts of water throw that idea off - and heating the dye doesn't dissolve the lumps either...I'm at a bit of a loss.
    Could you check your bottles for the batch number - it will be near the bar code, a stamped number.
    I'll check with the chemist about this, too.

  • Hi anet:

    Thank you for replying, and my apologies for taking so long to return to the forum. After testing the dyes some more, it seem to be only the cherry red that does this. It is an 8 oz jar, and the batch # is 26586. I purchased it in May 2013 from Dharma and have had these problems since the dye was new.
  • Thanks, Mac.
    I'll check with the chemist tomorrow - see what he has to say.

  • Hi Again,

    So...after talking with the chemist some more it does come back to solubility.
    The Cherry Red and Fire Red are both colors with tight solubility. One should use no more than 2% dye to water ratio (i.e. 2 grams of dye to 98 ml. water). When the dye ratio is too high you get just what you are experiencing - a clotting/clumping/gelling of the dye in the solution.
    You could try bringing the temperature of the dye solution up to 165 - 185 degrees F - that should dissolve the clumps, however, you'll want to be sure to have the dye bath at that temp before you introduce your fiber or the clumps will reform in the dye bath.
    The batch you have from Dharma is well within our expected self life so that shouldn't be a problem.

    let me know if you have more questions.