Storing exhausted dyebath for later use?
  • I am currently dying wool yarns in a crock pot using Jacquard acid dyes. During the course of one (long!) session, I exhaust the dyebath and add another (different) dye to the pot for another round. This seems to be working just fine, as long as all the dye has been taken up by the wool.

    I save my presoak (water+citric acid, per directions) in a 3-gallon bucket for use in future sessions. This also is working just fine for me.

    What I'm wondering is, can I save and store the clear liquid from my dye pot to use again next session? At present I am dyeing one day a week.

    I'm also wondering if the acidic presoak has any storage limitations, or if I can continue to reuse that indefinitely ("topping off" the solution when the level gets low).

    On a different subject, I am currently steaming my yarns after all the colors are where and as I wanted them, because my dyeing crock pot maintains only 162F. I steam to be sure I reach the 185F grail, and do wonder if this step is really necessary.
  • I save dye baths when not all piments are taken up. It works well but am not sure if how long they last. Good luck!
  • I see no problem with this and don't see why you can't reuse your dye bath water repeatedly as long as you have exhausted the dye like you say.

    The acidic presoak should also be ok. I don't see an issue with that.

    Steaming may be overkill. 162 is not that bad especially if you are using pure colors. Blacks and greys may not get as dark as you want, but 160 is not so bad. You could alternatively use the Idye fixative which works great for ionic bonds like this.

    http://jacquardproducts.com/idye.html