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Dyeing Silk

Acid Dyes Work Best, if you have the equipment

I use acid dyes from Dharma Trading. Their instruction sheet is online. The following is my notes to supplement their instructions.

Do not be alarmed by this list. Acid dyes do a great job and CLEAN UP beautifully: they won't stain your stove, pots, floor or anything that is not made of wool, silk or nylon. They are also washable (within reason) and beautiful. PS: the Acid in the Acid dyes is the vinegar you add.

1 yd 19 mm silk charmeuse weighs 3.5 oz, needs 1/6 oz dye.
6yds of 19 mm charmeuse weighs 1.25 lbs (20 oz), needs 1 oz of dye.
3yd 5mm veil weighs 2 oz, needing 1/12 oz dye
2/3 oz dye per lb of silk.

1/4 c of white vinegar per lb of fabric.
1 T per 4 oz fabric.

The problems you will face are:

  1. fully diluting the dye without leaving lumps or grains in it;
  2. adding vinegar to the dye without creating light spots on the fabric;
  3. providing a suitable pot for dyeing;
  4. providing a dye bath large enough for the silk to swim in;
  5. keeping the silk from tangling while dyeing;
  6. protecting the silk from sudden changes of temperature that will weaken it;
  7. getting the silk to the optimum temperature for dyeing (185 - 195 F) and holding it there without scorching the pot bottom;
  8. keeping air pockets from forming under the silk and pushing it up out of the dye bath;
  9. removing the dyed fabric from the dye pot without subjecting it to sudden temperature change and without splashing yourself with hot dye;
  10. washing and drying the dyed fabric;
  11. emptying the dye pot;
  12. cleaning the dye pot.



Go! Clean up.
Maura Enright, Proprietor
©2013 by Maura Enright
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