Kind of salt??
  • Hello, folks! I am attempting to do immersion dyeing of baby clothes, 100% pure cotton purchased from Dharma Trading and Procion MX dyes. I have a large container of salt but I do not know if it has iodine. How important is this?? Is the salt vital to the chemistry of this? Also I want to add stamping on top of dye. I was originally thinking of using oil-based printmaking inks with letterpress type (wood or metal, not decided yet). Some one suggested using thickened dye instead of ink. Any thoughts on this? I don't want to irritate baby skin but I don't know what effect dye would have on type either. Hmmm I say...am seeking higher knowledge. Thank you for any info!
  • All dyeing instructions say to use non-iodized salt, but it really will not make much difference if your salt is iodized. It will make a huge difference if you use kosher salt, but only because the crystals are larger so you have to use a lot more, by volume, in order to get the same weight. For more information on using salt, see "Do I need to use salt, in dyeing?".

    You absolutely need salt if you are dyeing a single solid color by using a large volume of water. If you don't use salt for high water ratio immersion dyeing, then much of your dye will be wasted due to electrostatic repulsion between the fiber and the dye. You do not need to use salt for tie-dyeing, because the amount of water used is so much smaller that the dye has no difficulty in finding the fiber to react with. Salt is optional in low water immersion dyeing; it can increase the crystal-like patterns.

    You can thicken Procion MX type dye with sodium alginate, or you can look for specifically non-toxic ink. I would prefer thickened dye for any clothing that a baby might chew on, because the dye will never flake off, but the ink might, if chewed upon. You will want to be careful to wash out any excess dye, and use a hot press test to be sure you've gotten all of the excess dye out; see the description on my page answering the question "Is it safe to dye a sling for my baby?".

    Paula