silk painting with Procion MX dyes...HELP!!
  • We used these dyes last year for a Batik project and they were wonderful!
    I want to do a silk painting project with my classes this year using the remaining Procion MX dyes, and am having a hard time piecing together how to do it.
    I have already washed the silk (12 mm. habotai) using synthropol and a small amount of soda ash per instructions on the syn. bottle.
    I was planning on pre-soaking the silk in a soda ash and salt bath, plus adding a little to the dyes when painting, but the instuctions are different for silk than for cotton. We aren't using the paste- we will be using gutta as a resist.
    I am at a total loss! Please help!!!
    Thanks!
  • Hi there,

    Okay, a couple of caveats before we jump in: there is some possibility that the soda ash might knock down the sheen of the silk slightly (you could, in fact, probably come across some folk that warn against using soda ash with silk at all). I, personally, have never had any issue with using soda ash with silk. The other thing to note is that it is a good idea to acidify the whole piece after you've done the final rinse. You can do that by making a bath of plain water and vinegar (about a gallon of water to a cup of vinegar should do it) This will serve to counteract any remaining soda ash effects.
    Now to it - you are doing just fine! The things I'd change are these;
    Pre soak in soda ash - no need for salt
    Do NOT add soda ash to your dye (it will activate the dye and be usable for only about an hour)
    Add a bit of Urea to your dye - this will help keep the fabric damp until you can wrap it up and during batching.
    Also, you will need to either make your gutta lines before you do the soda soak or allow the fabric to dry after the soda soak to add your gutta lines and it is going to be necessary to wrap your painting or otherwise ensure that the fabric remains damp/wet for 12 to 24 hours so that the dye is fully fixed. You could either jelly roll the piece in plastic wrap or if you have enough room just lay plastic under and over the fabric being sure that it is sealed well enough to remain wet for batch time.
    Okay, I think I've covered it - maybe Paula Burch will be by the forum and have something to add (she's the Queen), but I would also recommend taking a look at her site - she has tons of info!
    hope this helps!
    anet
  • Thanks for all the great info! That will really help us in our "adventure".
    The only questions I still have are what will happen if some of the dyed cells dry out? My classes only have 50 minutes to paint so it will take several days for them to finish their pieces. Can we still batch their work if only part of it is damp? Should we attempt to wrap them in plastic after each class? (I had to buy some massive stretcher bars, so this will be quite a feat!)