dyeing white silk to ivory with ecru acid dye
  • I have a few questions--
    -To make it an off-white rather than the darker ecru how would I adjust the dye-water ratio?
    -Is there any way to roughly estimate how much dye I need to buy before I have the fabric? I really need to buy the dye and material at the same time :/
    -Is there anything I would do differently since I'm just doing a very light color? I've seen to use warm water rather than very hot, and it makes me wonder if there's anything else.
    -If I use vinegar will the fabric smell like it afterwards?
  • Hi there,

    I'm going to presume you are thinking about using the Acid dye.

    Further presuming that you plan to use the stove top method you would start with 2 to 4% of the dry weight of the fabric in dye powder. For example, if you are dyeing 1 pound of fabric, use 1/3 to 2/3 of an ounce of dye. Because you want only a very light color I would recommend cutting those measurements in 1/4 or 1/2 (so 1/6 to 1/3 ounce of dye). Here is a link to the full directions for Acid dye: http://jacquardproducts.com/assets/jacquard-site/product-pages/dyes/acid/Acid Dye Instructions.pdf
    Acid dye does work much better if you bring the water temp to between 185 - 200 degrees F. Using vinegar or citric acid ensures the proper ph balance for dyeing silk with Acid dyes, however, once rinsed and washed you'll not smell the vinegar.

    hope this all helps,
  • Oh so sorry, I've been looking at several different websites and I forgot to include all the right info--I have a huge amount of fabric so I'll have to use the mashing machine. Will a normal water heater provide enough heat in the washer? and would I be able to reuse the water+dye for multiple pieces?
  • Hi again,

    Okay, that helps to know.
    Because silk is so willing to take dye you can probably get away with using the washing machine at its hottest setting - certainly we have the instructions for that, and I know folks use that method with complete success- I just have my own personal bias :) AND I've never had to dye large amounts of fabric.
    The instructions that I posted earlier will give you measurements for dye amounts for the wash machine method as well as the stove top, but the basics are a 1/4 to 1/2 ounce of dye per pound of fabric. Again, I would recommend cutting those measurements by half or even a quarter.
    If you are using just enough dye to tint the fabric a light ecru you will exhaust (use up) all the dye you use per batch so reusing the water + dye won't work.
    I'd steer you away from that anyway. Even if you dumped a couple of ounces of dye into the water what you would end up with is successively lighter shades of ecru with each successive dye job.

    if you have any other questions don't hesitate -