Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dissolving Fiber Reactive Dye Powder

"Pasting" the Dye (dye dissolving procedure recommended for all colors):

Always add liquid to powder, not powder to liquid.

Mash the powder with a sturdy spoon while adding the liquid very gradually.

Once it is a well-dissolved slurry it can then be added to the dye bath or the rest of the water can be added (if it is for tie dye).

Fiber reactive dye powders (except for Jet Black #250) should always be dissolved in lukewarm water, not hot or cold. Test it as you would a baby bottle.

For hard to dissolve colors (reds, pastels):
Use urea water* instead of plain water to paste up the dye. [*Dissolve some urea in hot water, then let it cool to lukewarm.]

Also, a couple of drops of calsolene oil will help break the surface tension of the water.

Last, best guarantee against "freckle" problems (the spots that form on fabric when dye powder doesn't completely dissolve):
Strain the dye (after it has dissolved and been mixed with more water) through thin pieces of silk (5 or 8mm Habotai works well) or fine nylon stockings placed in a funnel or a strainer.

With hard to dissolve colors (reds, pastels), add the pre-dissolved dye to the bath, and mix well, before adding the salt. [Salt reduces solubility, so if you do happen to have tiny particles of undissolved dye, they stand a better chance of dissolving without salt.]


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