iDye Poly Blue Turned Purple?
  • I have a couple of questions about the iDye poly on acrylic.

    First I dyed acrylic yarn with the iDye poly blue and got a really bright purple. Could it be that I didn't let it simmer long enough? The yarn came out very blue, but the blue just rinsed away and left the bright purple.

    The second is related to the first - since I dye a lot of yarn, I typically don't like to use toxic dyes if possible - so when I saw on the packet to avoid inhalation I was nervous about letting the pot simmer for a full hour. I understand that caution must always be used - but how dangerous are the fumes? I covered the pot to reduce the evaporation - is that enough? I probably didn't let the blue simmer long enough because I got nervous about the inhalation warning. How cautious should I be?

    Also, I do my heat setting for other types of dyes by microwaving them - can I microwave iDye poly instead of using it on the stove?

    Thanks!
    Liz
  • Different fibers always produce different colors when you dye them with a premixed dye. Unfortunately, you can't expect acrylic to produce the same color that polyester would, with the same dye. Exhaustion of disperse dyes onto acrylic tends to be slow, so it's possible more time might have helped. However, there is a limit to how much disperse dye can bond to acrylic. At some point, no more dye will go on.

    It is always important to avoid breathing dye powders, or really any powdered chemical, including household chemicals such as dishwashing powder or laundry soap. Breathing powders is an efficient way to ingest substances that are not considered appropriate for human consumption, worse even than swallowing them.

    Fumes from boiling dyebaths are completely different from the dye powders, and less likely to be a health hazard. If you have a ventilation problem, a good solution is to open two windows, one on either side, and install a fan in one to direct the air outwards.

    I predict that results from microwaving iDye poly will be poor. It takes an extended amount of time for the disperse dye to fully penetrate the synthetic fiber. Also, acrylic can be damaged by excessive heat, resulting in long-lasting creases. If you try microwaving iDye Poly to set it, please let us know what your results are, and how well the dye resists washing out.

    Paula
  • Hello All,

    Paula! you are just the best. I was in the process of composing an answer to this and there you are - saying it all so succinctly.

    Thanks - as always, for sharing your wealth of information.

    anet
  • I plan to give the microwave a try sometime soon (I usually microwave stuff for 30 min, which might be enough) and I'll post the results when I do!
    Thanks again Paula - you really are the best - if I've got your attention for a second - I have a question:

    I was dissolving citric acid in boiling water to make my own acid solution, and soon (in a couple of months time) handling the citric acid powder without a mask caused irritation, and then the vapors from the boiling water/citric acid began to bother me - since I'm taking precautions now - is the vapor from this an acid gas (thus requiring a respirator instead of a dust mask)?

    (fyi - I've switched to warm water instead of boiling - but vapor isn't considered a gas is it?)

    Thanks everyone!
    Liz
  • It worked!!

    Although again, the colors didn't turn out quite as expected, in the case of the red and the green the colors were good. The green turned out kind of teal and the red more of a tomato color.
    I cooked them in the microwave with the dye for about an hour each (I use the microwave for all my dyeing and really cook the life out of my fiber - 30min in a commercial micro is standard for my stuff). Although the green one completely dyed the plastic bin I used, the red did not (and the red did not smell as bad either) although the red did boil all over the inside of the microwave and make quite a mess. Also, since I was using yarn not fabric, I didn't get any permanent creases - and as a special bonus - the sequins on the yarn were lightly dyed a coordinating shade.
    Again, I did not use the color enhancer, and I was only dyeing small amounts of fiber (about 250yd). I'm not sure how colorfast it will be - although rinsing was pretty quick (once I got the sludge & stuff out I found the yarn was in a sort of cake at the end of the microwaving).

    Although I don't think I'll be doing this regularly (acrylic hand-dyed is kind of silly), it's good to know that it can be done!

    Liz