Reed and Wood - Surfactant?
  • In various sources on dye process, use of a surfactant (e.g., detergent, calsolene oil) is suggested to help with penetration. I'm finding all of the greens much more reluctant than any others to penetrate my wood veneers. Penetration is particularly difficult in low dye concentrations-- 1/5000, 1/100000 needed for pale tints.

    Are these (or any other) additives appropriate to use with Jacquard Reed & Wood dyes?
  • Hi,
    You could do a test and add a small amount of Synthrapol as a surfactant with the wood and reed dye. Let me know if that works? Also have you tried maintaining a higher temperature in the bath? That may help with the color penetration in a low concentration bath.
  • Celia,
    I tried the Synthrapol between 1/2000 and 1/10,000 concentration. It didn't seem to make any difference. Should I try more?
    Also, although it seems to make more sense to look at dye-in-bath concentrations when I do whole sheets of veneer (40 grams), I discovered that the dye-percent-of-material approach needs to be used for small test batches in test tubes. Typically, these are .3 grams of wood in 20 ml of dye bath. I'm not sure how to translate my test tube results to the 2-3 Liter bath needed for a full sheet.
    On your suggestion of raising the temperature: I'm using a pressure cooker which is supposed to get to about 250 degrees F, so I don't know how to get much hotter. The greens seem to need 3-4 hours to get all the way through in low concentrations, and the color dulls somewhat.

  • Hi,
    Try a higher concentration of Synthrapol in the test and lets see if that makes a difference. I am also going to pass your comments on to one of the guys at the factory and lets see if there is a way of working out the ratios etc for the larger peices. As for the high temperature you are probably right 250F is pretty high. Let me get back to you on this.
  • Thanks for all the replies. I will try more Synthrapol. I'm also going to try dying a larger piece using just the same dye-to-wood ratio, despite the much greater amount of water. I'll use the "topdyeing" proceedure. See new thread reporting results on that procedure.