Mixing dyes and preparing material

Household Salt and Washing Soda
So you are going to start preping the area you are going to work in. I would reccomend a kitchen, bathroom, utility room or an outside area with a water supply.
You are going to be needing a water supply for the rinsing stage and a bath or sink to hold the material.

The next thing to do it make up the soda bath for the material and the salt solution for the dye mix. I will mix up appox 50gs of the soda ash per 1 litre of warm water in buckets ready to soak my material.
This can be left overnight in a cool room

The salt solution is 2 tablespoons of salt per 100mls of warm water, I normaly make a litre for a dyeing session.
2 tablespoons per 100mls
Now it is time to start mixing up you dyes, make sure you have:
  • Moved your buckets of material to one side
  • Put on your old/protective clothing
  • Put on your gloves
  • Are working in a well ventilated area
  • Covered the floor with the plastic sheeting (if indoors)
  • Have a damp cloth and a dry cloth to hand

I will place a damp cloth on the work surface which will capture any powder that falls and from the measuring spoon.

You need to mix 1 teaspoon of procion dye powder with 100mls of the warm salt solution you have pre mixed.

Pop your power in the container with a small amount of the salt solution to make a paste, then add the rest of the 100mls and stir out any lumps remaining (be carefull not to splash!).

Once you have stired then pop lid on and set to one side to mix more colours.

It is up to you how much of each dye you mix or which colours, you can store left over dye in the containers in the fridge for a couple of weeks, so I always tend to mix too much to start with, I can always put them away for another session but there is nothing worse that getting half wasy through dyeing and finding that you run out of a colour.

If you have the colours red, yellow and blue mixed up you can make any range of colours from them, I have smaller containers ready to (with the basters) mix up a few other colours ready.

Now you table should look something like this, room for your tray of material, your dyes in containers all ready with basters and a couple of cloths for any drips/spills.

You can now take you material out of the soda baths and squeeze out any excess fluid, they should be damp but not soaking. You can keep the material in the trays ready to bring to the table to add the colour.

You can see from my pics that i have already prepared my cotton if different ways to achieve different effects, the next page will show how I have done this and the results so that you can try out a few different tecniques.

 Next is the fun part! Adding the dye...

see next page for results!!!


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