Are all brands of dye equal?
  • I've done a fair bit of tie dying with Jacquard Procion MX dyes (initially with the kits, then buying primary colour dye and mixing as required) and always had brilliant results. Recently, I bought some "other" Procion MX dyes (quite a bit cheaper - thought it was worth a try) and the results aren't nearly as good as with the Jacquard!

    The colours aren't as bright - but the thing I really don't like about the cheaper dyes is the bleeding / running. With the Jacquard dyes, the un-dyed parts of the fabric stayed properly white - with the cheaper ones, the un-dyed areas have gone quite grey.

    Looks like I'll be going back to Jacquard for my next project - but I was just wondering if anyone else had similar experiences?
  • I know I work for Jacquard and would be considered biased, but I can let you in a little bit on why our dyes are better. Some companies use direct dyes for tie dye. These direct dyes are more like Idye and traditional Rit you find in the grocery as opposed to procion dyes. Procion dyes do not bleed much because they are fiber reactive meaning they chemically bond to the fiber so that they cannot wash out. That is also why they stay bright for years and years and don't stain other clothing. Direct dyes can bleed even years later, especially in hot water. Procion is the brightest dye for cotton so if you compare it with other dyes, it looks way better, especially if you are dyeing in cold water like you do with tie dye in a squirt bottle.

    The other thing that other companies do is cut their dye colors with a lot of salt. Salt does improve the color in just about any dye, but too much and the color suffers. We try to keep the dye as concentrated as possible, because lighter is easier by using less dye, but you can't get something darker without having more dye. It is also why other companies can make their dye cheaper. It looks like they are offering the same amount of dye that we do, but really it is half or more salt. So really it is like paying 3/4 the price for 1/2 as much pizza. Not really the deal that it appears to be.

    People have their brand preferences, and I respect that. I just wanted to add my 2 cents because when you see that you are getting 2.25oz of dye from 2 companies and one is a little cheaper that is not the entire story. Sometimes a large portion of that 2.25 oz is plain old table salt.
  • That's good to know! I'm fairly new to dyeing and have been using the cheaper ones (Rit) Thanks for the info! I surely can't afford to try dyeing yards of fabric and having it run, fade or worse! I plan on selling hand dyed and marbling in my shop soon.
  • Thanks Jacquardmod :) The ones I bought were specifically sold as procion MX dyes rather than non specific "for tie dye". The salt explanation would make sense though - the dyes seemed grittier than the jacquard ones I've used.

    I'm in the UK so I've never used rit - we have dylon in grocery stores here. I've tried doing tie dye with that and it's not too bad for the single-colour-in-a-bucket method but not great with squeezy bottles.

    QuiltsIAm - I'd definately use the jacquard procion dyes for anything I was going to sell - the results I've had have all been brilliant and (so far) have washed with no fading or running. Good luck :)