Silk preparation for acid dyes
  • The instructions show how to mix the acid dyes for painting techniques. How do I treat the fabric? One source says to wet the fabric with vinegar, then paint, then micro-wave. That seems pretty damaging to the fabric to me. But acid needs to be introduced somehow. And then do I dry before steaming to prevent further transfer of color in my image? I am a painter that wishes to work on moving silk and desire the bright colors of an acid dye. Further, would rather use dye than pigmented acrylic--I have tried that and am unhappy with the texture change of the completed work.
    thanks
    Fulton
  • Hi,
    here are some instructions. You need to steam the colors after painting. Wait 24 hours before doing so.

    Celia

    Acid Dyes for Silk Painting:

    Add 8 oz. (1 cup) of very hot water to one .5 oz. Acid Dye Powder. Stir until dissolved. This will yield a very concentrated dye solution. Most colors require further dilution. Note: every color has a different solubility. Some colors are difficult to dissolve such as 605 and 618, but most are easily dissolved. The final concentration of the dye solution for painting should be between 4 and 8%. Start by adding 4 oz. (1/2 cup) of water to the 8 ounces you already have, test the color and continue adding water until desired shade is achieved. Keep in mind that the color intensity really develops in the steam setting process. Most colors will remain stable in solution for a long period of time. However, some colors will fall out of solution upon cooling or from sitting for a matter of weeks. To restore them simply heat them on the stove. A small amount of alcohol (about 1 tablespoon) can be added to the dye solution as a wetting agent.
  • These are the instructions for mixing paint, which are on the website. I need the instructions for handling fabrics. For example, suggested ways for:

    Preparation of fabric

    Application of dye mixture (working wet or dry?)

    Use of resists

    Use of flow inhibitors

    Handling of painted fabric

    Steam Wet or Dry?

    Setting times

    Alternatives (steam iron, micro-wave, and other methods)

    Handling of color set fabric

    Air or iron dry?

    Washing excess color

    Neutralizing Acid

    Future cleaning methods





    Thanks

    Fulton

  • I've had a related question on this very same subject.

    Nowhere in the instructions for mixing a stock solution does it mention when, where or how the acid component is added. Do we add vinegar to the stock painting solution or citric acid, and how much? Can the acid be added to the steam water? Does the addition of acid to the stock painting solution reduce its shelflife? and finally, might all these questions be irrelevant because NO addition of acid is required when steam is involved?

    I've had great success using these dyes for vat dyeing, but sometimes I'd like to be able to paint with them as well.

    Thanks for listening,

    Darlene
  • Hi,

    We are constantly adding to our site but at the moment we don't have such encompassing information.

    Briefly the fabric should be untreated. For acid dyes use with silk, wool or other protine fibers. Nylon and feathers also dye well.

    Any "size" or additive in the fabric even some of the naturally occurring oils in untreated fabrics such as wool can cause you problems. So where possible always buy ready to dye or print fabric and always do a test before working on a batch.

    You should always steam the fabric dry and steaming time varies dependent on the amount of fabric you are steaming. I generally work from about 30 -45mins for about a yard square up to 2 – 3 hours if there is a lot of fabric in the steamer.

    Leave the dyed or painted fabric for at least 24 hours before steaming and leave the color to air dry preferably.

    Handling of painted fabric once steamed I would recommend hand wash only. prior to steaming don't let it get damp or wet as this will cause the dyes to run.

    There is no acid in acid dye so there is nothing that needs to be removed or neutralized. If you have added vinegar to make the paint then the acetic acid will neutralize in the steamer.

    You can use the microwave to set dyes but steaming is so easy and is the most effective in my view. A steam iron will not set acid dyes.

    Apart for these tips I would recommend a few good books. Paula recommends several on her site.

    Linda Knutson's Synthetic Dyes for Natural Fibers
    Giles's Laboratory Course in Dyeing

    Here is a link to her site page.

    http://www.pburch.net/drupal/?q=node/395

    Hope this helps a little.

    Celia
  • Hi,

    You can add the vinegar to the paint stock. It helps the silk take the dye. However, silk takes color very easily so it is not always necessary and as a paint you must steam the acid dye colors.

    FYI: The alcohol is a wetting solution and helps the dye dissolve down and stay in solution.

    Add the vinegar in to the dye stock after you have added the hot water. If you add vinegar it may shorten the shelf life but not by any noticeable degree to the best of my knowledge.

    Celia
  • Thanks for the information, this is definately a start. I will pursue the books to see what they may add.

    Looking forward to get my sumi brushes out!

    F
  • Umm - about those sumi brushes;

    if you want to do big, bold strokes, they're fine. But be advised - if you're painting on habotai silk, or any of the lighter weaves, the color will run like the runniest rice paper you've ever used for painting!

    I actually backtracked from the silk painting, and am now trying out some Chinese brush painting to work on the techniques. They're very similar in that they need single, transparent application of color. If you're skilled in Sumi-e and can control your application, fine. Likewise, if you like the "spontaneious" style - or as I call it, the Blotchy style, fine. But if you want finer lines and more control, without using a resist, you'll need different brushes, or thickened dyes, or No-Flow on your fabric.

    I use the same all-purpose synthetic brushes I bought for acrylic work; don't saturate them with the dye too much, and you can control the color much better. For the Sumi-E in paper, I was doing fine on the big strokes, like the Bamboo stems, and fine point work, like Chrysanthemums. But the long, shaped strokes for the Bamboo leaves were making me crazy - I coudn't control the taper at beginning and end. So, though I know it's heretical, I went and got a couple of little cheapie sable hair watercolor brushes, in size 3 and 4 round. Much better result on the rice paper, with more control; I'll try them out on the silk soon. I have some other paper that actually worked much better; but the runny paper turns out to be better practice for the silk painting.

    Point is, dye solution is like very watery ink - there's no body to it, so you have to be careful if you want it in designs, and not just in puddles. Good luck - love to see you finished result!

    L