Answer to basic dye questions

I got some questions from June who saw my Youtube video on baggie dyeing with the Color Hue dyes. She has some good questions ” ” Saw you on YouTube.
1. I’d like to buy your kits but can’t find how you re-order the dyes after the initial dyes in kits are used up.
2. How much are replacements?
3. Also – are these chemical / toxic ?
4. If not used in baggie – do you have to use gloves?
5. I’d like these for baby clothes / blankets. Is cotton good or just silk?

Here are my answers:
Dear June,
Thank you for your question.
1. When someone runs out of any one of the colors in their 10 color dye kit, I recommend they buy the color in a 2 ounce size. It isn’t on my shopping cart on my website www.SilkDyes.com but I have them available. It will be going onto the shopping cart shortly. The 2 ounce goes for $16. Sometimes I run a special for $12. There are also 8 ounce sizes but rarely does this get ordered unless someone is teaching or doing production yardage work. The 10 color half ounce bottles are enough to dye about 30-50 8 x 54 inch China Silk scarves.

3. The dyes are not toxic and safe to use in public schools which have stringent guidelines for art products. Out of the hundreds I have taught to use the dyes, only one had an allergic reaction (she got a headache) when around the dyes and she had lots of other allergies.

4. I always wear gloves when I mix the dye concentrates with water.The baggie dyeing makes it easy and fast to get color onto the silk. I use a pipet to transfer and mix the dyes so as to not waste one drop as it is very concentrated. So I recommend gloves when mixing the dyes. Once you see how fast the dyes bond to the silk you will see that in doing spray techniques or tabletop techniques it is best to keep your hands away from the spray and not touch the silk directly with your hands until you see it has bonded with the silk. I often take a sandwich baggie used for the baggie dyeing and put it on for a quick and easy glove and to shield areas where I don’t want the spray dye to go. You can see other techniques beyond the baggie on my Simple Silk Dyeing DVD. I plan to do another DVD on Advanced Silk Dyeing for Beginners with the new methods I have discovered that work well with the dyes. Until then, I recommend you go to my website and sign up for the free art newsletter as I put out helpful hints in that newsletter.
Clean up is easy by washing your hands with soap and water a few times to remove any color. Concentrate takes a few more washings to remove it.

5. The dyes only bond with Silk, Linen, Rayon and Wool. It is best on silk. Wool is a greedy fabric and soaks up a lot of the color and I recommend it be warm and wet when dyed to help it bond better. I have found Rayon doesn’t dye black, the black dye when used turns blue. Strange but true. It also takes more dye to get a darker color compared to silk. The Silk/Rayon Satin Devore is unusual in that the silk dyes the darker color and the satin dyes a pastel color. It is also a challenge to get a true red color. It tends to be pinkish or orange red. My grandson who loves to mix the dyes used Pumpkin, then Rose and then a touch of Brown sprayed one on top of the other on a zebra stripe scarf he was creating and he got the best red I have seen with the Color Hue dyes.

It is not permanent on cotton, (unless it is your favorite white blouse or pants). My granddaughter and I were dyeing a scarf for July 4th (red and blue) and I splashed the blue mixed with water on her white shorts. We rushed to the sink to rinse it out, wash it out with soap and bleach it out 3 times. Didn’t leave the cotton so we splashed the other leg of her white shorts. She said they were getting too small for her so it was okay. Thank goodness. You would have to test it out on what you want to dye and see how long it lasts.

Some acrylic paints (I recommend the more expensive but highly pigmented Golden paints) can be mixed with fabric medium so the hand of the fabric stays softer after drying. You know how acrylic paints bond to clothing once dry. So that is a possibility. Don’t know how they are with the skin touching them though as far as toxicity but you could call the help line at Golden or go to their website. They are very helpful.

Hope this answers your questions.

Best Wishes in Art, Marlene

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One Response to Answer to basic dye questions

  1. Marlene says:

    Dear Brenda,
    The dye when applied to the silk scarf is permanent while wet so if the water in the baggie went clear while he was dyeing the scarf, then the dyes have permanently bonded with the silk. To be safe, you can take the scarf he did and wash it in gentle shampoo in a white sink and check to see if any color comes o ut. If it does, then rinse it thoroughly until the water goes clear. Other than there, there isn’t any heat setting needed with the Color Hue dyes. You are more than welcome for my time and help. I enjoy it so much.