woollymammoth woollymammoth
I am planning to dye linen fabric for a heavily mottled look, not tie dyed, but a softer appearance. I have done this in the past using Dylon by scrunching up the fabric and stuffing it into a small container of the dye, no stirring. I have a few questions about using Procion MX for this method.

The instructions say to mix the dye in the salt water, immerse fabric for 10-15 minutes, remove the fabric, add the soda ash and return the fabric to the dye bath for 30-60 minutes. Why the wait to add the soda ash? For the effect I want the fabric must remain undisturbed in the dye bath so I need to add the soda ash before putting the fabric in. Will it work as well if I add the soda ash at the same time as the salt? Or should I mix the dye with the salt water, wait a few minutes and then add the soda ash?

Do I need to keep the dye bath at 105 degrees the entire time? Because I will be using a small container it will cool off quickly, especially in my desert climate. Does the dye work at room temperature?

If I keep the linen in the dye bath longer than an hour will the color be darker or brighter? Or is there a point after which the fabric stops taking up the dye?

Thanks for any and all help!
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pburch pburch
Your instructions that you quote are for dyeing fabric a single solid color. Low water immersion dyeing with Procion MX dyes is done by stuffing the fabric into a small container, pouring dye over, and then pouring soda ash over, with or without salt. Some prefer to put the soda ash in first. There is more info on my page, "How to Do Low Water Immersion Dyeing", at http://www.pburch.net/dyeing/lowwaterimmersion.shtml .

Procion MX dyes work at or above 70°F. Warmer temperature encourage a faster dye-fiber reaction. Longer time will allow deeper color, but only up to a point.


Paula E. Burch, Ph.D.
hand dyeing FAQ, dyeing instructions, book reviews:
please join the dye forum: http://www.pburch.net/forum
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woollymammoth woollymammoth
Paula, thanks for all that information. I didn't know there was a name for what I had been doing. But it produces beautiful results.
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