Friday, October 24, 2008

Dyer's Math, Part 2

I mentioned yesterday that I had mixed stock solutions of the Procion MX dyes at the same concentration that I've always used for stock solutions of acid dyes. For acid dyes -- Lanaset in my case because I think Jacquard might require a different concentration of powder to water -- I've always mixed 5 grams of dye powder to 500 millileters of water to get a 1 percent stock solution (1 gm/100 ml = 1%). So that's what I did originally with the Procion dyes.

It's also important for me to note, here, that I do not buy tons of dye colors -- I did that when I started dyeing, years ago, but never got the colors I really wanted. So since then I've always mixed my colors from primaries. In the Sabraset/Lanaset acid dye line I use scarlet, magenta, turquoise, royal blue, violet, sun yellow and black.

I'm also mixing colors with the fiber reactive dyes, so again I'm just using the primaries. That means that I've got to start with stock solutions -- because it is virtually impossible to accurately mix colors using dye powder. I want a lot more control over the colors than I'd get if I used impossible-to-measure nano-amounts of powder.

So, I just measured in quarter teaspoons how much dye powder was in the 5 grams of powder that I had used for the original batch of Procion stock solutions. And the answer was about 6. So I had used 6 quarter tsp for 500 ml/2 cups of solution, or 3/4 tsp powder per cup of water. Which is a weak solution of color for fiber reactive dyes, as I've just learned.

Yesterday a gal I met in a local fabric shop said she uses 1 tsp dye per cup of water, and this morning TieDyeJudy responded to my post of yesterday saying she uses 2 tsp dye per cup of water.

I'm going to continue to make stock solutions for my work with fiber reactive dyes, and now that I've nearly finished up the tiny jars of Procion MX dyes, I'm switching to Sabracron/Cibacron F's. The primary colors in that line that I'll be using are true red, magenta, turquoise, azure blue, royal purple, sun yellow and rich black. And although there might be some difference in concentration between the two fiber reactive dyes, because of different chemical compositions, I'll be starting out with higher concentrations of powder to water in my stock solutions.

Or maybe not! Perhaps I'll do an experiment first with small amounts of stock solutions, using my original one percent formula, to see whether Sabracrons are more concentrated, by nature, than Procions. So stay tuned!


Peg in South Carolina said...

Unless I am looking for light shades, I generally dye at 4% DOS with Lanaset/Sabraset dyes. Years ago, I think I did the same with MX dyes. Black I usually dye at 8% DOS.

Von said...

I actually use 1 tablespoon of dye to 1 cup of water... for reds and black I use 2 tablespoons... I tend to get deep meadium oolors on this and usually very good saturation. I also tend to at times use 3 tablespoons of dye per 2 cups of water and then as I want lighter shades I mix it with urea water as well I'm not much into measuring weights although I've been told when I learn that part it will change the way I dye fabric. Don't know if I'm ready for that LOL Enjoy!