Acid dye amounts for barely there fabric weight
  • Newbie question here! :D

    I recently bought a bunch of silk scarves and acid dye from Dharma to make play silks for all the kids on my Christmas list.

    All the dye usage amounts are based on a pound of fabric, so I'm questioning just how much dye I should use for a mere 8 or 9 silk scarves since they're obviously a fractional weight in relation to a pound.

    Is there by chance a guide anywhere that has the dye amounts broken down for much (much) smaller amounts of fabric? (I was planning on doing the washing machine dye method if it makes any difference.)

    TIA for any help or advice!
  • Use a kitchen scale to find out how much your scarves weigh, then you can calculate how much dye to use.

    For example, if your scarves weigh a total of two ounces, say, then you should use one-eighth as much dye as is recommended in the chart for a pound of silk. If you're supposed to use 1.5 ounces of Jacquard Acid dye per pound of silk for the particular color you have in mind, then use one-eighth of this, which is about 0.2 ounce. The small jars of the Jacquard Acid dyes contains about half an ounce.

    It's a lot easier to do if you convert you dye requirements to grams, instead of using ounces and pounds. One pound is 16 ounces or 454 grams. One ounce (by weight) is 28 grams. Weigh your dye out on a scale that can distinguish gram quantities of dye.

    Dyeing in a washing machine is a good way to get a perfectly smooth, even solid color, but it is wasteful of dye if you're not dyeing a five-pound washing machine load. Also, the temperature of the hot water in your machine will usually be below 140°F (60°C). Using much hotter water on the stovetop works a lot better for most acid dyes, making them more resistant to running in the laundry.

    Using multiple colors in low water immersion dyeing creates scarves that are more beautiful, more interesting, and far more unique. An easy way to heat many different colors of dye at once is to use mason jars (wide-mouth quart-sized heat-resistant jars). Stuff your scarves into the jars, add one or two different colors of dye to each jar, place the jars into a pot of water (the level of the water in the pot should come up two or three inches of the way up the sides of the jars), and bring the pot of water gradually up to a simmer, 185°F. Follow the stovetop recipe to add vinegar, etc.

    Paula