30% silk 70% cotton
  • Is it possible to dye the cotton and silk on one garment two separate colors? What dye can I use to dye the silk portion that will not dye the cotton portion?
  • And what dye can I use to dye the cotton that will not dye the silk?
  • Hi NormaJ',

    Thanks for writing in.
    Yes, there is a dye that you can use to dye the silk portion of your fiber that will not strike on the cotton portion - Acid Dye is your buddy for this.
    Unfortunately, because silk LOVES dye there isn't a dye that will strike only the cotton portion of your fiber that will also leave your silk alone.
    All is not lost, however. If you are dyeing analogous colors (yellow, orange; blue, green; etc.) it is pretty easy to underdye the cotton (and silk) with a Procion MX color and overdye with with Acid Dye. I've had best success when I use Procion MX for the lighter tone color and then overdye with the deeper tone in the Acid Dye.
    Dyeing this way is really a lot of fun and you can create some really interesting affects.
    Have fun!
  • Thank you, Annette! So if I wanted to dye the (its a baby carrier woven wrap) wrap silver/gray and then dye the silk portion (swans) a green or turquoise, would that be possible?
  • ...hummm, that is sounding a little difficult. You'd want to dye the cotton portion first - the silver/gray, but know that the silk will take that color too. Then coming up with a green or turquoise that will over dye but not get muddy because of the under dyed silver will be pretty tricky. If you would be satisfied with a deep blue over dye for the swans you are likely to be much more successful. Do you have any extra material on which you could do some sample dyeing?
  • I'm going to test it out and see how it turns out. Crossing my fingers!

    I have another question... I spent about $30 on the jacquard color remover for an unwanted dye job and it hasn't been taking the dye out. Would it work better if I added soda ash to the water?
  • Testing is always good!
    As for the Color Remover, are you using very hot water? The best way to remove stubborn color is the stove top method. What type and color of dye was used originally? And fabric type?
    Soda ash won't hurt anything but if the Color Remover isn't working it won't really help either.
  • It was the iDye Olive OVER the iDye Kelly Green. I finally got all of the Olive off and most of the Kelly Green. I used the iDye remover in the sink with boiling hot water. Thank you!
  • Ah, good. Glad to hear you've got it mostly out. The very hot water is the trick.
  • Yes! I was thinking of turning the water heater up and using the washing machine, but I think that might damage the washing machine. Right?
  • You have a top loader, yes? Most top loaders have a metal or enamel tub which should hold up well to very hot water. If the delivery and drain hoses are in good shape they should be fine, too. The dye won't hurt the machine at all, but you do want to run an empty cycle after the dyeing and double check all the rubber bits and crevices for trapped dye and wipe those out.
    I've also had the experience (in an area with hard water) of discovering a soap scum ring in my top loader after dyeing - the dye stuck to the soap scum ring and made it evident. I simply used a little powdered cleaner on a cloth and it all came right off. Was a reminder to clean my machine every once in a while!
  • Annette!

    I did it! I dyed my silk swans wrap (http://lewraps.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/swans.jpg)! I dyed it first with iDye Silver Grey and then used the Jacquard acid dye (turquoise) and the cotton stayed silver gray while the silk portion turned turquoise.

    The only thing is that there are certain dark brown spots on it now... I'm not sure what they are from. What do you think? Does that tend to happen?
  • Wow! that is beautiful fabric, though I wasn't able to see the turquoise on the swans...is it very pale? Is this the color you got with the Silver Gray?
    As for the brown spots; my first thought is that there was some undissolved dye in the Silver Gray - occasionally some particles of dye may not completely dissolve or some component of the dye mix may take more time to dissolve and those bits will then create darker spots of color. With a mixed color like the Silver Gray there are a number of different dye components used to make the color and it is possible that a 'brown' component was not completely dissolved. If I'm really invested in a piece of fabric I'll predissolved my dyes about a half hour before I'm going to actually start dyeing and give them a good shake every 10 minutes or so. That is probably overkill, but there are times I feel like it is worth it.
    Another possibility is contamination of some sort on the fabric itself. Usually this looks more like weird blotches, larger than the undissolved dye spots. I've had this happen more than once - usually on fabric I've reclaimed from garments, but have seen it even on virgin fabric and even though I've prewashed everything!
    Hope this helps some...and if the attached photo is of the original cloth - can't wait to see what it looks like all dyed up!


  • Actually, the link I sent you was what the wrap looked like originally. This is what it looks like now :

    It came out perfect! I'm not too bothered by the spots. After I washed it to get excess dye out, the got much lighter and are hardly noticeable. Thank you for all of your help!
  • ...shoot! I can't get the link to connect to the image - fb keeps telling me the content is unavailable.
    I'll keep trying - i really want to see the end results!

  • Yes!
    That turned out beautifully! I love what the silver grey did with the turquoise...and the contrast is lovely. Thanks for making sure I got to see it.

  • Thanks for all of your help!