how do I dye silk/rayon scarves
  • Hi I am new to the Jacquard forum and my username is sharonkay. I have a bunch of silk/rayon velvet blend scarf blanks in my house. I need to know which is the best dye to use for these types of scarves. I heard that Procion MX is the best dye. I would like to know how to mix these dyes without using a thickener and I would like to be able to steam set my scarves instead of setting them with soda ash. Please give me some good instructions because I would like to dye these scarves before the end of the year. Thank you very much.
  • Hi,

    Yes MX dyes are the best dye to use with rayon and silk mixes. Mix the dye colors up with some chemical water. This contains citric acid and and urea when painting on silk.

    Acid based Chemical water

    ¾ cup (188 ml) warm 120oF(49oC) water, 5 tsp (20 gm) Urea, 1 tsp (6 gm) Citric Acid Crystals, ¼ tsp (1.25 ml) Synthrapol, add water to equal one cup (250 ml).

    Add 1/2 teaspoon to 4 teaspoons of dye depending on desired shade to the chemical water. Black may require up to 8 teaspoons. Add sodium alginate to this mixture to thicken it if desired.

    Add 1/2 teaspoon per 250ml of dye of Ludigol to Procion MX dye when steam-setting for brighter more vibrant color results. Especially good with turquoise!

    Here is a link to the instructions for steaming and hand painting.

  • The rayon plush on the scarf won't dye at an acid pH, even when steamed,
    will it? I predict that you will end up with a pale, non-washfast stain on the
    rayon portion of the scarves, and a good intense color on the silk backing, if
    you try to dye them with Procion MX dyes at an acid pH, using citric acid. If
    you use citric acid in your dye paint, you should not also use soda ash or
    baking soda, because they will just cancel each other out.

    I think that, even with steaming, dyeing rayon will need a pH of at least 8, which
    you can get with baking soda. (Baking soda turns to soda ash when steamed, so
    you'd end up with a higher pH still.) Procion MX dyes work best on rayon at a pH
    around 11, though high temperatures help them to be less picky.

    Ludigal is a good idea for use when steaming or microwaving reactive dyes.
    It helps to prevent them from losing color due to high temperature reduction.

    The most fun results in dyeing silk/rayon blend scarves come from using a
    premixed dye color of Procion MX dyes, with soda ash or (when steaming)
    baking soda, because mixtures of Procion MX dyes usually come out to be
    different colors on different fibers. The contrast between the rayon and
    the silk on a devoré scarf can be pretty cool. If you use an unmixed single-
    hue dye, the silk and the rayon will come out very nearly the same hue,
    though one may be a little more intense in color than the other. You can check
    which of the Jacquard Procion MX dyes are single-hue, and which are
    premixed from two or more colors, by looking for them in the "Rupert,
    Gibbon, & Spider" column on my Which Procion MX colors are pure, and
    which mixtures?

  • Hi -

    NOTE - I haven't worked with the Devore myself, but I read a lot! ;-> - So here are some UNTESTED suggestions:

    Dharma Trading carries a really cool (but expensive!) prduct called Alter Ego. It has 2 different dyes - one for the rayon, one for the silk - which you combine in a single dye bath. Each fiber comes out a different color - awesome! (in the pic's anyway)

    If you want a tone-on-tone effect, you could just do the Procion MX, which would "take" on both fabrics, but with slightly different colorations.

    Another thing to try, if you're feeling adventurous, would be a 2-step process. First do the Silk Colors - maybe with a fixative, instead of steaming. This should only color the silk backing, not the rayon pile. Rinse out the excess with Synthrapol, then overdye with the Procion MX, which will dye both fibers, and fix. If you did Fuchsia 1st, for instance, then overdyed with Yellow, you should come out with yellow pile on a brilliant orange ground - worth a try!

    Good luck - post photos!

    - L
  • hmmmmm........good one