Amount of soda asha - wildly varying recommendations
  • I'm a new Procion MX dye user. I'm amused and confused by the wildly varying recommendations for amount of soda ash to use. I know this is very important, and I'd like to get it right. Following are some amount collected online:

    1 lb soda ash per 4 oz of dye
    1 oz per gal of water
    1 cup per 3 gal of water
    1/3 cup per 3 gal of water (Dharma Trading)
    1 cup per gal of water
    ½ cup per 3 gal of water
    ½ cup or 1 cup per gal of water

    I had a batch of tub-dyed fabric come out very light. I used 1/3 cup soda ash but might not have used enough dye.

    Can you tell me if it's possible to use too much soda ash? Or which of the above amounts is a good working solution? Thank you.

    George
  • p.s. I'm dyeing a dark blue, which I understand requires up to 4x as much dye as lighter colors. But does it also require more soda ash?
  • p.p.s. In my original post I stated I used 1/3 cup soda ash; that was in 3 gal of water, with 1.37 lb of fabric.
  • Hi Runbei,

    You are right - there is a huge of variety in recommendations for soda ash and it is pretty amusing unless you are trying to make sure you are getting it right. Part of the reason you'll find so much variety is simply due to the range of measurement that allows one to reach the ph value one is looking for.
    Paula Burch has a great discussion on her forum with excellent info http://www.pburch.net/dyeing/FAQ/ph.shtml.
    However, in general you will be perfectly safe at the 1/3 per 3 gallons ratio. I do suppose one could use too much soda ash, but I think you'd have to be adding cups and cups.
    About your light fabric - it is much more (absolutely) likely that your dye amount is the determining factor with this piece.

    hope this helps
    annette