Kelly B Kelly B
HI, I am new to dyeing on silk. I want to dye a 3 yard 5mm white silk veil. I want a watercolor effect. Do I use acid dyes and vinegar? Can I direct apply the dye? Or do I have to immerse it? Thanks Kelly B
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[Deleted User] [Deleted User]
Hi Kelly,

Could you clarify what you mean by 'watercolor effect' - it will help me answer your question a little better.

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Celia Buchanan Celia Buchanan

Are you refering to the watercolor technique which is painting on silk by priming the silk with an antifusant such as no flow? If you are you can use acid dye or any other dye suitable for silk.

Below are the instructions for using acid dyes.

Washing Machine Dyeing for Fabric:
Set the washing machine to gentle cycle, hot wash/cool rinse and fill to the lowest level appropriate for the amount of fabric being dyed. Add dye powder and agitate until dissolved. Some dye colors are denser than others, so use 1/2 jar for one pound of fabric, 1/4 jar for 1/2 lb. of fabric, etc. Add clean fiber and agitate two minutes. Add one cup of vinegar being careful not to pour directly onto fabric. Before wash cycle is complete, turn machine off and examine fabric. Fabric looks much darker wet than it does dry. To test your results, dye a scrap of material with your main load and dry with a hair dryer. At this point, you may let the machine continue through its cycle or start again, adding more dye if desired to increase the depth of the shade. Wash in cool water and Synthrapol or liquid soap.
Stove Top Method:
Fill a metal pot with just enough hot or warm water for the fabric to swim freely, turn on the heat. Add the dye powder to the pot and stir. Normally, in this procedure one would add 2 to 4% of the dry weight of the fabric in dye powder. For example, if you are dying 1 lb. (16 oz.) of fabric, use 1/3 to 2/3 of an ounce of dye. Add the fabric to the dye pot. Raise the temperature to 180?F to boiling (feathers need a minimum temp of 170?). Add 1/4 cup of vinegar. Maintain temperature and stir occasionally for 1/2 hour. Wash in soap and warm water. The final color depends on the time in the dye bath, concentration of the dye and temperature of the dye bath.
Acid Dyes for Silk Painting:
Add 8 oz. (1 cup) of very hot water to one .5 oz. Acid Dye Powder. Stir until dissolved. This will yield a very concentrated dye solution. Most colors require further dilution. Note: every color has a different solubility. Some colors are difficult to dissolve such as 605 and 618, but most are easily dissolved. The final concentration of the dye solution for painting should be between 4 and 8%. Start by adding 4 oz. (1/2 cup) of water to the 8 ounces you already have, test the color and continue adding water until desired shade is achieved. Keep in mind that the color intensity really develops in the steam setting process. Most colors will remain stable in solution for a long period of time. However, some colors will fall out of solution upon cooling or from sitting for a matter of weeks. To restore them simply heat them on the stove. A small amount of alcohol (about 1 tablespoon) can be added to the dye solution as a wetting agent.
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