Just finished our first projects...
  • We bought the Jacquard tie-dye kit with the DVD, and completed our first projects. The kit included the Procion MX Dyes. My son and daughter are so pleased with their new shirts! The shirts have been rinsed out, and washed once in hot water.

    [*] Should I set the colors with Retayne or Rit dye setter?
    [*] Will these colors runs when I wash them with regular loads of laundry?
    [*] I use the Shout Color Catcher regularly – would this help with any possible running?
  • When used according to the instructions, on 100% cotton or other natural fibers, fiber reactive dyes such as the Procion MX dyes you used do not need to be set further. They were completely set by the soda ash that you used. All you have to do to complete the process is to remove all unattached excess dye by washing in HOT water (140°F or higher). This usually takes at least two washings, though soaking in hot water improves the efficiency. Be sure to use a phosphate-containing water softener if your water is hard.

    Do not use Retayne. Retayne is needed only for non-washfast dye, such as all-purpose or direct dye, or in cases in which it is impossible to do a proper wash-out. Procion MX dye bonds so tightly to the fiber that it can be boiled without loss of color, but Retayne washes out in hot water, so it will not even last as long as your dye. A side effect of Retayne that you can avoid, since you don't need it, is the tendency of Retayne to reduce lightfastness, which causes fabrics to fade faster in sunlight. It's a worthwhile trade-off for all-purpose dyes, which otherwise wash out very quickly, but it's completely unnecessary for Procion dyes.

    Once your dyes are set, and all of the excess unattached dye has been completely removed, your dyed items will be safe to wash even with white clothing, even in hot water, without any risk of color bleeding. To make sure that you have removed all of the dye, you can do a hot press test (dampen the dyed fabric, place it between two white cloths, and press dry with a hot iron; if color transfers, do another hot water wash). Or, you can just wash the first few times with similar colors, without doing the test. At this point if any remaining unattached dye does run, it will wash right out in hot water.

    There is no need for the Shout Color Catcher. Procion MX dyes are much higher quality dyes than the ones that products such as Retayne and the Shout Color Catcher were made for. If you always use Procion dyes, you can quit sorting your laundry by color, because these dyes do not run in the laundry.