Acid Dyes Bleeding (wool)
  • So I recently dyed a brown alpaca wool (homespun but other than that, unprocessed) with scarlet jacquard acid dye. I used 1% dye by weight, and used citric acid crystals (1tbsp/lbs). Let it cook but I can't recall how long, then let sit overnight to cool. I thought it was clear but the water was slightly, slightly reddish when I dumped it.

    When I laid it out to dry I got dye all over the place so I cooked it some more (with vinegar this time). After that, I rinsed it a couple times in cold water. It is still bleeding a bit. Did I do anything wrong? What can I do to fix it? It's a scarf and I don't want it to dye a coat red around the neck.
  • Hi Zoe,

    When you say 'but other than that, unprocessed' does this mean that the wool was not scoured? If not, this could be part of the problem - there may have been some contaminant that interfered with the fixation of the dye.
    Also, once cooled anything dyed will need to be rinsed to remove loose dye. As the wool was left overnight, it may have pick up quite a bit of excess dye that hasn't fixed to the wool but rather is just 'hanging out' in among the fibers.
    I suggest rinsing again with cool water, rising the temp very slowly to just warm. The warm water is going to push more of the unfixed dye out, so you'll probably see more of the dye with warm water. I also suggest using a liquid detergent during the rinse.

    hope this helps
  • Hi Annette,

    I don't know what scoured means so presumably I didn't do it :) I don't usually do much with alpaca because it's pretty "bare" (vs greasy sheep). I will try what you say. Thanks!