Friday, April 27, 2007

Well, this started out as a comment....

I started this as a comment to Jana's post and question about dyeing turquoise and color bleeding, but my response got wordy and loooong, so not it's a post! Anyways....

Some colors may take 2 dye jobs to get just the right color, especially with very deep saturated colors and take a lot of patience. I'm going to assume that you're using the premixed turquoise color. I haven't used it, but heard that it is a slightly more challenging color. You can try a few things, which I've detailed below. It sounds like you've dyed a bit already before, but I'm not sure what your primary/common methods are. So to be on the safe side (and for anyone who hasn't done much dyeing), I'm going to include all the very basic instructions and explanations here:
  1. You may be putting in too much dye power per wool ratio. (?) It's also best to dissolve yor dyes in hot water. Some reds and blues get gelatinous and end up being too thick. When it gets thick like that, you may end up with gloopy bits to your yarn that ends up being excess dyes that bleed out. ProChem suggests adding Urea as an anti-coagulant. Urea is generally used as a wetting agent. I use it for reactive dyes. Urea helps your fiber stay wetter and helps you get brighter colors. Not everyone has urea, or want to smell it, so I'd try the other alternatives if you don't have urea.
  2. Mix your own turquoise with yellow and blue. If you have green on hand, it might be easier to use that as a base, and then just add blue and/or yellow to get the desired shade. To test the color, just dab your stir stick on a paper towel.
  3. Try submitting your yarn to a 2nd dye job or overdye it.
  4. Apply a dye fixative to your yarns after you dye. I like and use this one for my cellulose fibers. Just make sure you rinse your yarn before soaking it in the fixative.
  5. If you do the saran wrap painting and seaming method, try dyeing/painting on the stove. If you've already tried the stovetop method, try it with salt. and add some non-iodized salt to your dye bath.
    • Put your yarn in a dye pot with water on the stove (enough to cover yarn but not too much). I don't always presoak, because I like that not all the dyes take up at the same rate. If you want a more even color, then presoak the yarn.
    • Mix in some vinegar or citric acid and salt. I actually prefer citric acid because you can get a deeper color with it than vinegar, and of course, there's no odor. You want your water hot, but a below boiling.
    • Mix your color in a cup with warm water and a little bit of acid. Adding acid to both your water bath and the dye mix helps control the dye and will prevent/limit the dispersion in the water. Doing this will allow you to paint many colors at the same time without the hassle and mess of the saran wrap method (now, if you want a lot of control, like getting a different color every stitch, then I'd use the saran wrap method).
    • Using a bent spoon, squirt bottle, paintbrush, or whatever you use to apply the dye, put the dye the spots where you want the color to be. Don't touch it or mess with it too much (or the dye may go where you don't want it to go) and wait until your water turns clear. Remember not to let your water boil.
Good luck! I hope at least one of these helps. If you've already tried all of these already, sorry, I have no other suggestions.


TheYarnKnotzi said...

Glauber's salts help to set turquoise, also. Basically, it is a dye assist that "opens up" the fibers more, making more places for the dye molecules to attach. Some larger molecules have trouble attaching, and using salt or glauber's salt (called leveling agents) in your dyebath creates more attachment sites.

Anonymous said...

thanks so much for all the information! I have read it twice but am still consuming it all!