Tips for an Experienced Dyer
  • I've done quite a bit of dying with procion Mx dyes and recently attempted to darken some faded black jeans. These jeans had the same color warp and weft, so i guess you could consider them twill. Anyways, I ran my dye bath pretty normally but used double amounts of dye, ash and salt. The result is not black jeans, but slightly greyish greenish. It especially looks green under certain light. I tried to dye the jeans again as Mx dyes are transparent but the same effect was produced. Any tips on getting things to dye a true black?
  • The key in dyeing anything black is is to use enough dye, often two to four times as much as you would use for a lighter color. How much dye did you use, and how much water? It's common to use 7% or even 10% of the weight of the fabric to get a rich dark black. For example, if your jeans weigh two pounds per pair, that's about one kilogram, so you might use up to 100 grams of black dye for them.

    If you are dyeing five pounds of fabric in the washing machine, you'll want about 40 grams of Procion MX dye to reach a medium shade, 75 grams for a dark shade, and up to 150 grams for black.

    When you are dyeing heavy items black or dark colors, it's a good idea to buy larger jars of dye, two ounces or eight ounces each. Dye costs much less if you buy in bulk.

  • is it possible to get a deep black using procion dye? I must have used a one and a half smaller bottles of the dye and I dyed 1 pair of jeans with 2 tshirts. I did this dyebath in the washing mashine.
  • It certainly is very possible to get a deep rich dark black using Procion MX dye, but you have to use large enough quantities of dye, as I said before. You're not using nearly enough. Black requires much larger amounts of dye than pale colors do.

    One and a half of the small 20-gram jars adds up to only 30 grams, but you dyed 3 pounds of clothing with it. No wonder you didn't get a dark black! For three pounds of clothing, you have to use at least three times as much dye as you did, if you want a really dark black. You can get by with such small amounts of dye only if you want lighter colors.

    Buy an 8-ounce jar of black Procion MX dye and you'll have more than enough for your purposes. When you buy it in the larger jars by mail-order, it costs a lot less per unit of dye, about $13 for an 8-ounce jar.