Please help! Dyeing 100% Rayon shirt with Procion MX dyes
  • Hi! I'm new at dyeing 100% Rayon and new with using Procion MX dyes.

    I basically need a 101 on what's the best method to dyeing 100% Rayon shirt with Procion MX dyes.
    ---What temperature should the water be when dyeing & when rinsing the dye out?
    I cannot use a washing machine to dye. I have a 5 gallon, 2 gallon (with airtight lid), and a few 1 gallon (1 with airtight lid) buckets. I do have plenty of soda ash.

    Can anyone give me a 101 basic information about how to dye 100% Rayon shirt with Procion MX dyes?
  • Hi there,

    Dyeing with Procion MX is pretty simple. You'll create a dye bath, your bath should be large enough to allow the fabric to move freely, pre-dissolve the dye in a quart or so of warm water (to ensure that it is completely dissolved) and pre-dissolve the soda ash so it's ready when you are.
    Add the dye solution to your main bath water, warm tap water is good, about 80° to 90°F, add your pre-wetted fabric to the bath, stirring it every 5 minutes or so for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes lift the fabric from the dye bath, add the soda ash solution and return the fabric to the bath. For another 50 to 60 minutes stir and rearrange the fabric every 5 minutes.
    Remove the fabric from the dye bath and rinse with cool water until the water runs fairly clear. When finished rinsing wash in warm water with detergent.
    Here is the link for specific instructions for immersion dyeing for cellulose fabrics: MX Instructions.pdf

    If you have any other questions let me know.
  • @anet - I already have that PDF printed out so I can read as I go.
    Also, I wrote the original post when I was exhausted, at the wee-hours of the night, that I just realized that I forgot 1 important piece of info about what I wanted to do with the Rayon shirt.
    --- I want to be able to dye the shirt with multiple colors, I prefer to tie dye it.---

    Is there a way to tie dye or dye with multiple colors?
  • Hi,

    Well that makes things very different:)!
    For tie dyeing you'll want to pre-soak the fabric in a soda ash solution. While it is soaking you can mix your dyes - all the colors you want. General recommendations are 2 teaspoons to 1 cup. When I'm tie dyeing I usually go a little heavier than that - up to 3 teaspoons, especially with the darker colors. Once your dyes are mixed transferring them to some sort of squirt applicator bottle helps in the application process.
    Pull your fabric from the soda ash solution, wring it dry and fold it in the manner you wish. We've got a number of videos that show different methods and there are several projects that outline folding ideas as well.
    Once folded, apply dye. Apply dye to one side, flip fabric and apply dye to the other side. You'll get cleaner colors if you follow the same pattern of dye application on both sides of the fabric. If you want your piece to end up with little or no white make sure the dye has penetrated to the center of the fold. This is where new-to-tie-dyers experience their greatest disappointment. The fabric looks very saturated, however the dye hasn't penetrated the fabric completely and on wash out there are great areas of white.
    When the dye is applied to your satisfaction, wrap the fabric in an air proof wrap like plastic wrap or plastic bag and let rest for 12 to 24 hours.
    Remove the fabric from the bag and rinse in cool water. Once the water begins to clear a bit snip the bindings from the fabric and continue to rinse increasing the water temperature to quite warm (this isn't hard science so no specific #'s for you). When rinsed pretty clear wash fabric in a machine with Synthrapol on warm water. Dry as you normally would and you are done!
    Notice - no immersion here - it is all direct application.