procion dye and salt technique
  • I am used to dying on silks and sprinkling salt and scrunching the silks and letting it dry to create a mottled affect.
    I am now trying to dye rayon and recreate what I get on silks and I am not getting the same results.
    Should I be able to? I am eventually going to dye a Mother of the bride rayon dress and she wants some mottling in the dye. Not flat out white spots like you get in tie dye. What are your suggestions? How do the people who dye the bali stuff get such good results?
  • Hi Qirfa,

    Have to admit I've never tried using salt on Procion MX dyed pieces, but if what you are looking for is something like this
    then that is easy to achieve. What you want to use is a low-water immersion method.
    Let me know if I'm on the right track and I'll get you more info.

  • That's a great picture. More info would be great! It looks like some kind of tie dye without the white spots. What is low-water immersion?
    I had tried presoaking the fabric in soda ash. Then soaking it in the dye so most of it would set .... then went back and scrunched and tied it and put a darker solution of the die on it and it came out one shade of color. No texture in the color at all. Thanks for your help. Cari
  • HI Cari,

    Low-water immersion is pretty simple and very satisfying!
    Pre-mix your dyes - a single color or multiple colors, depending on just what you are after. I usually figure about 1/2 to one cup of dye per yard of fabric. Optimally, using a flat tub or deep tray, I lay the fabric out over the tray, spread out completely, then 'scrunch' it into the tub. You want your scrunches not too deep and fairly even (about 1/2 inch to 1&1/2 deep) over the bottom of the tub. Pour the dye over the entire piece then gently press the fabric into the dye making sure all has some contact with the dye. After about 20 minutes pour about a quart of soda ash solution (1 cup soda ash to one gallon of water) over the fabric & dye. Again, gently press the fabric into the solution ensuring all is in contact with the soda ash/dye solution. I found that if I mess with the fabric too much my color variation becomes less so depending on what you are after pressing it more than just the two times will increase the evenness of the color. Let rest for about an hour and rinse with warm to hot water and Synthrapol or liquid detergent.
    The piece in the photo I posted was done with at least two colors, my best guess would be 034 Magenta or 040 Fuchsia and 232 Bright Blue or 068 Turquoise.
    If you google low-water immersion you'll get a feast for your eyes!

    let me know if you have any questions.
  • That was a most excellent rabbit trail you sent me on. I did not know about low water immersion. I am going to have to experiment but I think it will give me what I have been looking for. Thank you for your help.
  • My most delighted pleasure!