problem dyeing silk dress
  • I had a problem dyeing a silk dress. I used the immersion dyeing method with 030 Fire Engine Red Procion Mx Dye and follow the directions correctly even the water temp and the color turned like a fuschia red. Why did this happen. I had 1 lb. material and I made my dye bath with 2 1/2 gallon warm water (room temp) and used 2 lbs. salt and used 6 teaspoons of dye powder disolved, and 7 tablespoons soda ash delouted. Stir the bath constant. I am kind of new at this and any help would be appreciated. Also can I redye this and if so what should I do and what method. Someone told me to redye this with rit dye in scarlet.
  • Hi,

    The instructions you followed were for cotton and not silk.! :o You shouldn't use soda ash with silk, vinegar is needed instead. See below.

    Note : If you live in an area with hard water add calgon or used distilled waterr in the bath. Just for future reference Acid Dyes are far better for dyeing silk than Procon MX and yield stronger brighter shades.

    Immersion Dyeing for Silk

    Materials:
    3 gallons of warm water (105° F)
    Procion® MX dye (see bottom of page 2)
    1 1/2 to 3 cups of salt (non-iodized)
    2 cups 5% acetic acid (white vinegar)
    Synthrapol for rinsing
    In a stainless steel or enamel pot, put in water, dye and salt.
    Place pot on stove and stir.
    Add fiber.
    Raise the temperature over a 15 munute time span to simmer, stirring frequently.
    Remove or lift out the fiber, add the vinegar and stir.
    Return the fiber to the dyebath. Stir frequently at a simmer (about 180° to 195° F) for 30 to 45 minutes.
    Allow to cool before rinsing.
    Wool yarn, fabric, fleece and all animal hair fibers are dyed with this method. Silk yarn and fabric is dyed by the protein method but the dyebath is run at 100° F rather than heated.

    Celia
  • Celia, I was told to put soda ash by the dye tech at the manufactorer. I am so upset now. I also dyed a shawl in the same vat and that came out the right color. I am so confused. Can you go into a little more detail with me on the stove method. I never did that type of dyeing and also can I redye this dress after dyeing it in the vat for 90 minutes like I did, I am afraid of shrinkage? Can I vat dye this again and get a redder result and use vinger instead of soda ash next time, I just need more of a vivid red would it work? My questions in red on the stove method here and below, if you can please answer them if you still think that is the best method and will not cause shrinkage or you can tell me about the vat method and what I should do to not repeat the same mistake.:confused:
    Thank you for your speedy reply and if you can answer all my questions I would appreciated it. I do not want to ruin this dress it was an expensive one. Thanks again
    Immersion Dyeing for Silk

    Materials: Is this per one lb. fabric recipe?
    3 gallons of warm water (105° F)
    Procion® MX dye (see bottom of page 2) Should I try the next shade of
    1 1/2 to 3 cups of salt (non-iodized) red or can I stick with the or-
    2 cups 5% acetic acid (white vinegar) ginal one I liked???
    Synthrapol for rinsing
    In a stainless steel or enamel pot, put in water, dye How much dye for 1 lb fabric for a vivid color??? and salt.
    Place pot on stove and stir.What temp should the water be before placing fabric? Is Silk going to shrink this method???? Add fiber.
    Raise the temperature over a 15 munute time span to simmer, stirring frequently.
    Remove or lift out the fiber, add the vinegar and stir.
    Return the fiber to the dyebath. Stir frequently at a simmer (about 180° to 195° F) for 30 to 45 minutes. Silk is like it states here on bottom 100 degrees correct?
    Allow to cool before rinsing. Do I give it a hot wash with sythrapol in machine after rinsing?
    Wool yarn, fabric, fleece and all animal hair fibers are dyed with this method. Silk yarn and fabric is dyed by the protein method but the dyebath is run at 100° F rather than heated. Is this the temp. I should follow 100 degrees??? Thanks again I appreciate your help.:)

  • It is possible to dye silk using Procion MX dyes with soda ash--but the colors take differently on the silk as compared to the cotton (as you noticed with the shawl that you dyed--what was the fiber content on that?). Soda Ash is harsher on the silk fibers but not having to heat the dye bath helps minimize shrinkage. If one uses soda ash to dye silk it's good to soak the fiber in a vinegar bath afterward to neutralize the PH. Rayon may take the color differently still.

    If you don't like the color it is now then it's probably worth giving it another go. It's likely that you will be able to get some color shift in the dress--the amount of change will depend on what you over-dye it with.
    You may get satisfactory results using the Fire Engine Red with the vinegar method, but you may have to go for another shade--you'll have to make the call on the color.

    To follow the directions Celia gave you, here are the general amounts of dye to use:
    pale shades 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon
    light shades 1/2 to 1 teaspoon
    medium shades 1 tablespoon
    darker shades 2 tablespoons
    darkest shades 4 tablespoons

    The recipe is for 1lb of fabric (dry weight). Run the dyebath at 100 degrees (it's really just hot tap water), that will help minimize shrinkage. After dyeing, rinse with cool water, then with increasingly warmer water. After that, soak in 2-3 gallons hot tap water with 1 1/2 teaspoons of Synthrapol for 5-10 minutes. Rinse again with warm water.


    It takes quite a lot of practice to get predictable results when dyeing.
    If possible, try to think of this as an adventure.

    Good luck.
  • Hi,

    Shrinkage varies and is normally dependent on the type of silk and the bath temperature. After the first exposure to water the fabric may not shrink any more. BUT this is something you will have to test I can't give you an absolute guarantee!!!!

    Soda ash is not generally used on silk because it can damage the fibers. Damage varys and may not always occur. Vinegar if preferable for protein fibers as is using good water quality or water softeners such as calgon in hard water areas.

    The problem with using Procion MX dyes on silk is that they don't always yield a true shade because they are reactive dyes. The colors can vary between fiber types quite dramatically. However in saying that in a case where you are worried about shrinkage they are preferable to acid dyes due to the low temperature required in the bath.

    This is for 1lb of fabric and normally 2- 4 table spoons should be enough though for black you need up to 8!
    I would give the color you have another try with vinegar. = WHITE Vinegar and yes 100F degrees is correct.

    Celia