Jun
4
2013

Adventures in Dyeing

In the last post I briefly outlined the CYMK dyeing approach. Here’s the results of my first tests.

I started with the following colors in 1% solutions for my bases. All are Procion MX.

Cyan – Turquoise MX-G

Yellow – Lemon Yellow MX-8G

Magenta – Fushia MX-8B

Key – Black MX-CWA

I mixed my dye colors based on Margret Coe’s percentage formula, which gave me 1% stock solutions of each of the colors shown below, or at least that’s what we hope for.

peacock

For my first batch, I used 10 grams of Dye-Lishus cotton sliver, 90 ml water and 10 ml of dye solution. No heat, mordants, additives or the like. That’s why I used this cotton, it takes the variables out of the process and leaves you with just the dye as a variable. The sliver was let to sit for 15 minutes and appeared to absorb much of the dye.

Slivers in the dye bath.

Slivers in the dye bath.

 

After this, the colors came out much more muted than I intended. They also didn’t come out quite the right shades. I blamed cross contamination from rinsing them all together. I figured the blue didn’t take and that the gold picked up magenta from the rinse. In hindsight, this wasn’t really possible as they were rinsed separately and only together in the spin dryer.

Turquoise

Turquoise

Gold on Right, Green on left

Gold on Right, Green on left

Purple on right, Blue on left

Purple on right, Blue on left

 

I did the next batch with 10 gr of 5/2 rayon yarn. I soaked this yarn in a washing soda bath before dying and mixed the washing soda blend as the water for the dye bath. I used the same ratio of 10 ml dye stock in 90 ml water (soda water this time). I immersed the yarn and heated it to 100 degrees. This was then allowed to sit overnight.

 

Next I took the remaining dye solution and poured it over more Dye-Lishus cotton. I had 4 remaining one ounce bundles of  pre-measured pre-scoured sliver, and an unknown weight left over. I added the dye and enough water to cover the sliver bundles. I didn’t unwrap the bundles so I knew I would get some variation in color or even no color at all in some areas. The ratio was approx 2 ml of dye to 1 gr of fiber, except the “gold” which came out more of a 5 to 1. This was left to sit overnight as well.

The next day I drained , rinsed each color separately, then soaked them all together in a Synthropol bath. The synthropol keeps the excess dye from attaching to other fibers and contaminating the color.

Rinse in Synthropol to ensure I wasn't polluting the colors in the rinse

Rinse in Synthropol to ensure I wasn’t polluting the colors in the rinse

 

However, I achieved very much the same results, just more saturated.

CYMK

CYMK

CYMK

CYMK

CYMK

CYMK

CYMK

 

Of course now I’m thinking my blue/cyan is faulty, except something didn’t add up. The green and turquoise came out fine and if the cyan was off, they should have been off too. Also, the gold came out brown to mauve-ish. There wasn’t even any cyan in that blend. It took a few days, but I did finally see the obvious. It’s not my cyan that is too weak, my magenta is too strong!

Magenta is too strongly represented.

Magenta is too strongly represented.

 

Next step, I’m going to cut my magenta stock solution to a .75% and try again. All in all I am very pleased with this approach. If I can get these 4 colors dialed in, there will be no more need for buying and keeping jars and jars of dye powders and stock solutions.

 

 

 

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