Excess dye in dye bath / use of salt and vinegar
  • I am still noticing a lot of dye remaining in the dye bath after stove top immersion method. I have reduced amount of dye dramatically and this not helped. Does upping the vinegar quantity help push more dye into silk fabric? I have read about manufacturer's acid dyes and their instructions call for salt being added to dye bath. What function does salt perform and does Jacquard recommend? Also they add vinegar before fiber goes in. Does this make a difference? Thanks for the assistance.
  • Hi Kathleen,

    The directions for immersion dyeing at our web site work very well and provide very successful results. While it is not necessary to use salt when using the Jacquard Acid dye the addition of salt to your dye bath may assist in driving the dye to the fiber.
    There are a couple of possibilities that may contribute to dye remaining in the pot - there may be some lack of affinity between the silk you are dyeing and the dye you are using which would interfere with uptake. It may also be that your temperature isn't high enough during the dye process or not enough time has been allowed for full uptake, and it could be that the amount of fabric you are dyeing needs even less dye than you are using even after reducing the amount.

    hope this helps..
  • Thanks for the quick response. I am dying 5mm silk veils purchased from Dharma. The temp is not the problem. I am 190 to 200 degrees. Goes down a bit when I stir. How long should I leave the fabric in the dyebath to ensure maximum uptake? If I wanted to dye one evening, and then wait til the next night to rinse out (say 24 hours or so), can the extra wait time damage the silk? This would be more from a lack of available time standpoint, rather than absorption time worries. These 2AM to bed nights are starting to take a toll. Do you think add'l vinegar would help at all? I will also see if I can reduce dye quantity further without compromising color. Thanks again.
  • Generally, you'd want your fabric in the full temp bath about 30 minutes after you've added the vinegar. Add the vinegar after the bath has reached 180 - 200 degrees F.
    Leaving the fabric overnight before rinse out should be fine, but you probably should put it into a clear water soak to reduce the risk of creating uneveness in the dye which could happen with the unrinsed fabric lying on itself.

    any other questions - just let us know