Acid Dyes or Fiber Reactive on Silk?
  • I'm new to dyeing silk other than using the green label dyes. When do you use acid dyes vs. fiber reative? If I want to dye a scarf a background color before using green label, which is best?

    I'm concerned about toxicity of these as well - please advise where good information is other than the generic precautions.

    Thanks!
  • Hi,
    Regardless of the name Acid Dyes are not generally very toxic. However, you should use precautions when they are in powder form. This is true with any powdered chemical. They are great on silk as a paint or for tub dyeing. Acid dyes are a hot water dye and as such can't really be used if you fear the item may shrink. In those cases Procion MX dyes are a cold water dye but have some limitations on silk. Both MX and Acid are fiber reactive dyes.
    Celia
  • What precautions should be taken with powdered acid dyes? Is a face mask from a hardware store acceptable? If not, what kind is okay?

    Also, when dying with acid dyes on top of the stove, is a respirator needed for the fumes?

    What about Dyeset? What precautions should be taken with this product?
  • Hi,
    The gerneral health and safety instructions for powder dyes are don't inhale vapours when in solution and don't inhale the dry powder. Also use them in a well ventelated room. A particle mask from the hardware store (if you feel you need that level of precaution) is probably enough for the casual user. I personally just avoid putting my face too close to the jar when opening it and don't stick my head over the dye bath as you can inhale the steam if you do that. However, if you are using them a great deal and exposing yourself to them everyday for most of the day then I would definately recomend using a mask. As a general rule of thumb these dyes are no more toxic than a household dye such as Rit Dye.
    Celia