dye down the drain

I mainly dye silk with Procion MX dyes and vinegar in low water immersion methods. I’ve developed my method over a couple of years now, and I continue to tweak it. Currently I’m trying to optimize my volume of dye solution and volume of powdered dye.

Dyeing sheer silk veils means that usual recommendations about how much dye and dye solution you need really do not apply. Most Procion MX dyes I work with have recommendations for when they are used with soda ash, not vinegar, for example, and per pound of fabric. When you convert from a pound of fabric down to the 10 grams of a silk veil, you get into silly-land. So over time I’ve calculated as small an amount of dye as seem reasonable to measure.

The thing is, my LWI dye baths do not exhaust well at all. There’s still a lot of unused dye in them. Which means that rinsing takes forever. But I don’t want to reduce my dye too much, because I want strong colors. So I’m continuing to fool around with amounts, but in the meantime I’ve had several veils that underwent 15 minutes of hand rinsing in the sink PLUS two full machine washes… and still they had excess dye. SO time consuming. SO wasteful of water. Argh.

I’ve completed six veils towards my goal of 18 by the end of April… that’s not so bad… but my schedule is becoming quite hellish. Tonight is bellydance class; tomorrow I have a hair appointment; Wednesday I hope to dance with the local SCA ladies; Thursday night a ballroom dance lesson with my husband. Saturday may be very, very dye-stained.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Darlene
    Apr 01, 2009 @ 14:46:00

    Contact me off list if you’d like my take on a few of your issues. My email info is on my blog.

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