One thing I’ve often struggled with in low water immersion dyeing is that my dyes don’t exhaust very well (by which I mean “dyes all bond to the fabric rather than stay in solution in the dye bath”). From talking to people, I gather that this is not unusual when using Procion MX dyes as acid dyes. But it does produce a problem when rinsing out the silk. When you have to spend as much time rinsing as you spent in the initial part of the dye bath, things get frustrating. I’ve tried several things to improve exhaustion of my dyes:

  1. Switched to citric acid over acetic acid — citric acid is a stronger weak acid.
  2. Added more citric acid to the dye bath. 
  3. Not rushing to rinse… sometimes I’ll let the silk sit in the cooling bath for hours on end. I try not to rinse now before the bath has totally cooled. LWI lends itself to this.
  4. Just plain ol’ using less dye. As the years have gone by I’ve made much more use of my 1/4 teaspoon measure.

Things have generally improved, but I am still tweaking. On top of everything else, there’s always the problem of the turquoise dye… it’s simply a bear to rinse out and that’s all there is to it. So some things are not tweakable!

Here’s a little more music for the Middle Eastern dancer/dyer. I reviewed Masters of Bellydance Music 2 recently and liked it quite a bit.


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