Thursday, 5 May 2011

Acid Dyes & Steam-fixing

Space dyed wool yarns using acid dyes
The colour from acid dyes will give the most vibrant results on silk, wool and other protein fibres such as soya and hair.  The simple method (find out how) can be adapted to microwave dyeing.   

These wool yarns have been 'space dyed' and the effect can be replicated using our 'Quick Microwave Method for Acid Dyes' >

Discharge black velvet
The Discharge and Illuminating Acid dyes offer experimentation.  Fabric dyed with a dischargeable acid dye can have the colour removed with a discharge paste.  The paste can be printed with with a block, applied with a brush or it can be screen printed.  An illuminating acid dye can be combined with the discharge paste so that the base colour is discharged and replaced with the new colour.  Find out more about Discharge Printing >

Painted silk scarf using Dupont dyes by Katherine Barney
Painting with acid dyes using the Dupont dye range can be a little daunting to artists as these dyes require steam-fixing.  It is the heat from the steam that sets the dye and a simple homemade stove top steamer is adequate for small amounts of steam-setting.  For step-by-step instructions, see our Fact File page 'Steam Fixing Acid Dyes' >

Silk paints offer a good alternative to silk dyes and can be heat set using an iron.  They have been formulated to closely resemble dyes although the colours and handle of the fabric are less satisfying than with the results from silk dyes.

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