Dyeing small amounts of silk with IDye
  • How can I use the Idye packet to dye a small amount of silk chiffon on the stove top and save the remainder for other projects? I'm new to this and there seem to be conflicting use instructions.
  • iDye comes in a dissolvable packet. Typically, the entire packet is dissolved into the dye bath (whether that's a pot on the stove or a washing machine). However, you can also cut open the pouch and remove the dye powder. You can scoop or pour out the amount of dye powder you want, and then store the remainder of the dye in a dry place (in an envelope, jar, Tupperware, etc). Just be careful when handling dye powders: you DO NOT want to breathe airborne dye particles. An alternative would be to dissolve the dye packet in a jar of hot water and then pour off the amount you want. The advantage here would be that you wouldn't have to handle dye powders--instead you'd have a jar of very concentrated liquid dye... Either way, it is not difficult to use just a portion of the dye, and save the rest for later!
  • Thank you. The last alternative of storing the concentrate in a jar is very appealing. I appreciate your help.
  • Asher,
    I used your advice and got a beautiful deep Aztec Gold with the silk. There was a good deal of shrinkage, but no color loss. Now I'd like to dye some wool roving with the left over to match. Is it worth my time. I've read Idye really isn't for wool. Any recommendations on the easiest way to dye roving? Thanks.
  • Glad to hear of your success! It is true that iDye is not optimal for wool. Acid Dyes are a much better route. However, it is not impossible if you want to try it; you just might have trouble getting the same depth of shade and evenness as you achieved with iDye on silk. If you do choose to try it, here are some pointers: dye on your stove top in a steel pot using vinegar in your dye bath. Slowly bring the temperature up and then slowly bring it down again, when you are done dyeing. Longer dyeing times are better than shorter dyeing times. This will help prevent felting. Rinse well.
    Let me know if have any other questions. Good luck to you, and let us know how it goes!
  • Thanks again. I'm not terribly concerned about achieving the same depth of color since I'm going to use it for a nuno felting project that I want to get a lot of ruching. So, the wool will probably not show too much. I'm going to give it a try. I am also going to invest in some acid dyes for wool, but I thought I'd try to use this extra dye first. I'll let you know the results.
  • Hi again,
    Should I use vinegar, soda ash or salt to fix the dye?
  • Vinegar. As rule, when using iDye you'll want to use salt for plant (cellulose) based fibers and vinegar for animal (protein) based fibers.
  • Thanks. I used vinegar and got an even deeper color than I did on the silk. Unfortunately, it felted slightly even though I was very careful about handling and diligent about watching the heat. It was an experiment and I'll find a use for it. I appreciate your help. It's been a learning experience for sure. Next time I'll use the correct acid dye with hopefully better results.