Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Dyeing Question

I had such a good time dyeing fabric on Sunday that I'm eager (dying?!) to do more. But I have a question for you folks who dye all the time.

Do you dissolve your dye (procion) in plain water? urea water? salt water? If you use urea or salt, what proportion of salt/urea to water?

I have several books and they all say different things. One says salt is a MUST to get the fabric to absorb the dye, and urea is for paint on dyeing, but not immersion dye.

Another book says salt is optional and urea makes colors more intense so always use that.

At the class on Sunday, I don't think we used either.

Any hints or advice, guys?


  1. Hi Diane,

    What I was told was that urea helps the dye powder dissolve better in the water so more of the dye is utilised. And also if you live in a very dry area (not very relevant here in South Wales where at the moment it is tipping down with rain as usual...) it helps the dye stay active for longer (I think that's it anyway.). When I learnt to dye at college we had a dye solution, a salt solution and a soda solution. I think the salt helps the dye move through the fabric more so if you want more even results it is best to use it. The soda is essential to set the dye. I've done it without urea and salt (as well as with both) and it still takes fine but maybe I could have got away with less dye powder if I'd used them.
    Hope this helps!

  2. Diane, after I posted I read this lady's blog and today's post is all about dyeing - without salt or urea! She's got some gorgeous photos -

  3. Hi Diane,

    I just dissolve the dye in plain water. I understand that the Urea acts as a wetting agent. So if you aren't immersing the fabric in a dye solution but perhaps painting the dye on, the urea will help the fabric stay damp/wet longer... dye doesn't react when dry.

    I don't use salt anymore, but I was told that it helps the reaction so you get more intense colours. I also heard that salt helps you get more even colour. That's why I stopped using it, 'cause I don't want even colour :-)


  4. Thanks to you all for your info...And thanks especially to Melody who illustrated her whole process at!