Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dyes in the Fridge.

I've been doing a lot more dyeing of yarn and fabric lately and I wasn't enjoying it quite as much as when I was in college.  I realized that keeping the dyes in liquid form in the fridge took out the entire step of dealing with the powder form of procion dyes and kept everything bottled, liquid and easy to mix.

The last Ann Arbor Fiber Arts Guild meeting I was at, Nancy, our Fiber lab coordinator from the U of M School of Art and Design was there.  So I finally got to ask her the recipe.

So. Easy.

1 powder dye to 4 water. 
ie: 1 cup of dye to 4 cups of water.

You mix them up, put them in an old dish soap bottle and they're good in the fridge for 3 months.  So while I was dyeing some pieces yesterday, I made some of the basics.

Sherri, my professor from Art School says to double up on the black.  Nancy said it didn't matter too much.  I found doubling the black to make it more goopy and difficult to get all the way through the funnel into the dish soap bottle.  I think in general black dye is a lot better than it once was.  I remember having trouble getting a good black, but I have not had that issue in the past year of getting back to dyeing.


Rebecca Mezoff said...

I have never dyed with cotton dyes (procion dyes are for cellulose fibers, yes?). I am dyeing wool but also often make solutions. I find it is useful for dyeing smaller amounts--I can measure it easier. I don't keep my dye in the frig though. (I'm not sure Emily would be so happy about that). I wonder the difference between acid wool dyes and celluose dyes. Do you know anything about it Jenny?

JennySchu. said...

Rebecca, I'm still re-learning about dyes! I know that procion won't really work on wool, they are for cellulose fibers (I'm mostly working with silk and rayon). I have been told that any questions you could ever possibly have about dyes can be answered by ProChem: I'd check them out.
Oh, I do have a mini fridge in the basement so I'm not mixing my dyes and food. I have a seperate microwave for the dye lab too.

Jasmine said...

I am so happy I found your blog. I have been trying to find how to store my dyes (in small squirt bottles perhaps?) but I love the idea of re-using soap bottles! epic.

As for the difference between animal & cellulose fibers, I think it has something to do with the structure at the cellular level. Rebecca wouldn't necessarily need to keep her dyes cold because she is doing an acid dye which chemically adheres to materials at a different temperature. I also dye cellulose fibers and will need to keep my dyes cold.

Interesting factoid:: you don't need a different dye for animal fibers than for cellulose fibers. If you buy the dye for cellulose and you can use it in an acid bath once it's exhausted (after 3 months if you keep it cold). Or probably even prior to its exhaustion. Just make sure you have a nice ventilated space prior to starting the acid baths.

Again, so happy I found your blog!

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