Monday, November 02, 2009

Fun with Procion Dyes

Last Friday our local Guild has been dyeing with Procion Dyes. After learning to dye with Acid Dyes this Summer it was good to learn the possibilities with Procion Dyes. We have learned 5 different ways of dyeing with Procion and actually managed to dye 3 ways.
The first was a cold water dye/immersion dye. Wow how easy this was to dye cellulose yarns/fabric, just adding salt, a few drops of soap liquid and soda to the dye bath (not all at once!). I had brought a skein of Tencel and cotton and we were given some different threads of silk, linen and cotton to see how different material take up the dye. After half an hour I ended up with beautiful coloured yarn. I had chosen a kind of cerise colour, a mix of 80% red and 20% turquoise.
The second method was acid immersion bath. Here we dyed wool/silk with adding salt and vinegar and a drop of soap liquid. Here we split into 2 groups choosing a colour each. My group went for the blue colour. The dye bath was heated to 85C and my yarn had taken the dye very well. Not everyone's yarn was dyed evenly. I had cleaned my yarn beforehand, not sure if everyone had done this. Again we were given some extra yarn, wool and silk, to see how different the dye takes. Now, with having the acid dyes I would not repeat this method myself.
The last method we did was adding the dye to a thickener (lamalgin or Manutex) and urea. This was fun, We were given a square of cotton and a skein of linen where the tutor already had made a shibori tie on the skein. We all made different colours and used the different colours on our skein and cotton square. With the skein you had to make sure that the dye was taken right through, turning the skein. The skein and square were put on some cling foil so that we could wrap the dyed skein and square up and leave to rest for at least 5 hours. I left it until the next day and rinsed. All yarns were finished in a soap bath under boiling level for about half an hour.
Here are my end results:The 2 ways that we did not do is a spray method using soda and urea and the last one dying in the microwave. Using the microwave is for dyeing protein yarns, here again I would use acid dyes rather than the Procion dyes. I will definitely use the cold immersion method and adding the thickener method again in future for cellulose yarns.

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