Dying a silk/cotton blend fabric
  • Hi,

    I'm completely new to dying (well other than a completely failed attempt using Rit about 5 years ago but that's probably taboo to talk about here!) and am excited to find your products. However, I've noticed quite a difference in recommendations on exactly how to dye using the Procion MX products so I'm rather confused. To make matters worse, the fabric I want to dye is a blend of 52% silk/48% cotton. It's not a delicate fabric or weave, it's more like a silk noil (raw silk). If you want, you can see pictures of it here. Since it really doesn't have a sheen to begin with, I'm not too worried about that, though I love the softness of the fabric and would hate to see that lost.

    I want to dye the fabric black. I realize that it's a tough color but I'm willing to give it a try. I'd like to know what would maximize my chances for success, especially with the silk/cotton blend. Obviously, I'll be using an immersion method but a washing maching isn't an option so I'll have to use a tub. The fabric is about 7.5 yds (before first washing/shrinkage) and weighs a little over 3 lbs due to the heavier weave.

    I'd like your educated guesses as to what to expect the outcome of the dye to be. As long as the results are rather even (ie not streaked), I think I'll be happy with it. The person working in the store where I purchased the fabric said that she imagined that the silk fibers would turn more of a brown whereas the cotton would take on more true black but I don't know if she's ever used the mx dyes. A regular texture such as she described would be agreeable to me, I just don't want this particular project to look tie dyed. Make sense?

    Any advice you can give would be most appreciated. Thanks so much in advance!
  • Hi,

    Follow the instructions for dyeing cotton on our product info page for Procion MX. Cotton is a lot harder to dye than silk and the soda ash shouldn't damage the silk on a robust fabric as you describe. Watch the water quality. If you live in a hard water area add calgon or use bottled water.

    Normally one 0.75oz of MX will dye two lbs of fabric. However to get an intense black you'll probably have to at least double that quantity of dye.

    Celia
  • To avoid the "tie dyed look" move the fabric (agitate) regularly--you have to pretend to be your washing machine. :)
    Be sure to put up a new post and let us know how it turns out! It's good to hear of success and someone is sure to be able to help if the results aren't perfect.
    Happy dyeing!!

    Noelle