Does Dye Fixer Go "Stale"?
  • Okay, have a technical question.

    I've been using the Green Label Silk Dyes, and a solution of the Permanent Dyeset - mixed up a quart of it about 4-6 weeks ago. It was working fine on my sample pieces, and my 1st scarf. I then did a little practice piece trying the resist technique, and really liked the way it turned out (1st photo).

    So I painted up my scarf with resist in my squiggly square pattern (used the School Glue Gel, not the Water Soluble resist - sorry!), and let it dry overnight. I then painted on my squares in 6 colors and let it set for 24 hours. Some squares were darker than others, but the color looked even. It looked really good, but when I applied the Dyeset and then washed it out, I had some fading and bleeding. image I'm trying to upload some files to show, but they're way too big, so I can just show details (used my scanner, instead of camera).

    As you can see on the sample photo, the resist lines are nice and sharp, and the colors are consistent. But on the 2 pic's of the squares on the scarf, the color is uneven, and there's some separation, especially on the purple. Here are the details:

    Sample done on habotai 8mm. The scarf was flat crepe, which is slightly heavier, but the dye still seemed to penetrate. Dye was applied with a brush, with the scarf stretched on a frame - not pulled really taut - it's a "trampoline" frame I devised out of PVC and rubber bands. I painted each square with clear water 1st, then applied the dye - thoroughly wet, but not dripping. I prewashed, but it was more of a rinse, since I hadn't had any trouble before.

    I didn't immerse the scarf in the Dyeset, but brushed a lot of it on, over an aluminum pie plate. Not only am I cheap, but the resist gets really gummy when it's wet, so immersion wasn't a good idea. I left it on 5-10 minutes, which I've been doing, then washed out with Synthrapol. Once the Dyeset was rinsed out, I let the scarf soak for a while to dissolve the resist.

    SO - what could have gone wrong? Not enough dye? - Fabric thicker, and not as easy to diffuse dye in? - DyeSet getting old, and losing its oomph (it did seem to bleed a little on my last practice piece)? Wrong phase of the moon? I was so excited about this project, and it doesn't look nearly as good IRL is it did in my head. I want to try again; am thinking maybe I'll ignore the resist entirely, and do it freehand with thickened dye, or treat with NoFlow 1st.

    Suggestions/solutions, please!

    Thanks - L
  • Hi,

    I am an advocate of steaming. It is not difficult to do and is the professional way to set the colors. Here is a link to the instructions.

    http://www.jacquardproducts.com/products/dyes/silkcolors/instructions1.php

    Dyeset can in certain circumstances cause bleeding and fading of the colors unfortunately. I really recommend you give steaming a try. You will be pleasantly surprised by the results and how consistently you can replicate them.

    Celia