Steaming Problems
  • Hi!

    I've been using the green label dyes for about two years now and have recently had a lot of problems in the steaming phase.

    It seems like the pieces themselves "sweat" during the process.

    I have several pieces where the color has just bled out of it in spots.

    I've made as many procautions as possible (ie. using a towel to prevent condensation on the lid of my pot, using foil over the pieces, low water, etc) What am I doing wrong??

    Also, I read about using a bamboo steamer to steam set pieces. Have you ever done that?? Does it work?

    And on last question, do you need to add alcohol to green label dyes? I've read about that in several books.


  • Hi,

    The bleeds sound like condensation is getting onto the fabric. Try wrapping the item in clean cotton and cap either end with aluminum. Also opening and closing the lid frequently can cause spots to occur.

    You do not need to add alcohol to Green Label they will dilute with water. If you are having any issues use distilled water particularly if you live in a hard water area.

  • for stove top steaming,how long would you steam red label dyes?
  • Hi,
    The answer depends on the amount of fabric and size of the steamer. A small peice say under a yard square can steam in about 30 minuets. Larger quantities may need up to 1 to 3 hours.
  • Okay, Devil's Advocate, here -

    Do you really need to steam the piece at all? I'm using the Fixative that came with my Green Label dyes, and it works really well. It's one of the things that lured me to silk dying in the first place, since it's so painless compared to working with even fiber reactive dyes.

    Now, I'm a novice, and haven't steamed anything, so I can't compare. But the results I've gotten with the Fixative have given me clear, bright colors. I know the steamed results are supposed to be more brilliant, but unless you want really vibrant, saturated tones, you might not need to steam.

    Again, I'm coming from a background of making jewelry out of natural stones. My aesthetic is geared toward more muted, natural tones - I find the chemical colors of the dyes almost TOO bright, especially if they're being used in apparel or accessories. Most peoples' skin tones can't compete, and can wash out next to the brilliant fabric.

    Just something to consider....
  • Hi L

    Just wanted to thank you for playing "Devil's Advocate". It's great to be reminded that one of the advantages of the Green Label Colors is that they can be set without steaming.