strings vs. rubber bands and kit question
  • We've now done almost a half-dozen rounds of tie-dying (at least 1 kits worth each time), and feel like we're ready to branch out into other colors and get away from the kits.

    What are the benefits and drawbacks of kite string instead of rubber bands? Does it have to be kite string?

    Are the 3 colors in the kit Golden Yellow, Magenta and Bright Blue? Are there better colors for using as the basic "rainbow" that is our most popular design?

    s the dye cheaper if I get it outside the kits (I think I now have a dozen or so bottles)?
  • I don't think I've ever used kite string. I prefer artificial sinew for tying fine details, rubber bands when tying something that is quick and less detailed.

    Tie-dyeing kits almost universally contain turquoise MX-G, which is Jacquard's 068 Turquoise; yellow MX-8G, which is Jacquard's 004 Lemon Yellow; and red MX-8B, which is Jacquard's 040 Fuchsia. See my page on Which Procion MX colors are pure, and which mixtures? to see which are the other available unmixed single-dye colors; in general the unmixed dye colors are the best for most tie-dyeing and color mixing.

    In addition to lemon yellow, turquoise, and fuchsia, I think you should start by adding in a black mixture such as Jacquard's 028 Warm Black (the other colors look brighter when placed next to black!), plus a navy blue such as their 078 Cobalt Blue, plus 020 Brilliant Orange so that you can mix a true red without yellow halos. Also, I think everyone needs the lovely colors blue MX-G (Jacquard's 070 Cerulean Blue) and violet MX-2R (Jacquard's 231 Violet). Although you can mix similar hues using turquoise plus yellow plus fuchsia, they will not always be quite as good as these single-hue dyes. I wrote a couple of posts elsewhere on color choices for beginners and expanding your MX dye repertoire.

    You will save a lot of money if you mail-order your favorite colors of dyes in jars that each contain 8 ounces of dye. The dyes will cost less than one-third as much, per gram of dye, when you buy them in the larger jars, than if you buy them in the jars that hold 2/3 ounce. Buy only as much as you can use in a year or two, because the dyes can quit working when they get too old.

    Paula