Maximum saturations of dye
  • I am using up some procion h and resolving problems of them not setting properly. I have a batch of samples i am about to do. I am trying to figure out exactly how to work with maximum saturation rules regarding each color. I use very deep colors and suspect that part of my problem is too high a ratio of dye to chemical water. For example, if turquise is listed as a 25% saturation, what does that practically mean for say a max amount for a cup of chem water? And if at the maximum saturation level, my color is not dark and rich enough to suit me, is that the darkest level the color can be mixed to work?

    In the past these dyes have worked perfectly for me for many years. I am frustrated by how much time it has taken to try to make them work again, besides the many ruined batches of paintings.

    Also i cannot find a chart anywhere of the different saturation requirements for the different colors. Is there a link? Dharma no longer has detailed info on these dyes online.

    Thank you so much,
  • 25% dye just means that 100 ml of dye solution contains 25 grams of dye powder. You need to dilute it to a final concentration of between 4% and 20% for dye painting, depending on how intense you want the colors to be. 5% would be a 1:5 dilution of the 25% liquid or a 1:8 dilution of the 40% liquid. The old Dharma instructions said to use between 1/4 teaspoon and 6 tablespoons of liquid Procion H concentrate per cup of chemical water.

    Most of the links on my page about Procion H dyes at
    still work, so you can find detailed recipes, although other links to those pages have been removed, since the dyes have been discontinued by most of the former suppliers.

    How much dye you can use may be limited by how thick your fabric is. A very thin sheer silk can't hold as much dye as a heavier weight of silk, so it can't end up as dark i color.


    Paula E. Burch, Ph.D.
    hand dyeing FAQ, dyeing instructions, book reviews:
    please join the dye forum:
  • The most helpful data I found in my past few days of searching was your page Paula. You have been most helpful periodically over the years and so I thank you.

    I spoke with Michael and ran a ton of detailed tests in the past few days and I may have figured out my problem. I believe it to be related to steaming at the very high altitude where i live, and using a very old chemical water recipe. I will post final results in a couple of days when I am certain. Though H is no longer being used much, the steam test data will hopefully help other people.