Thursday, 11 December 2014

Q&A's - Is there are white dye that I can use to create lighter colours on my dyed yarns and fabrics?

In short, no! White fabric paint, yes, but not an actual white dye as such. So if you want to make a pastel colour the simple answer is to use less dye in relation to the weight of goods (fabric/fibre/yarn etc.) being dyed. 

Creating pastels - immersion dyeing
For "immersion" or solid colour dyeing (where the goods are to be dyed a single colour in a dyebath), reducing the amount of dye powder or dye solution in relation to the weight of goods will lighten the eventual shade. It can take a significant reduction, especially for very pale pastels and you may be panicking that you have barely any colour in the bath but have faith!

Dyes vary in their concentration and strength depending on the dye type, the brand and even the colour. The goods (the thing you are dyeing) can also affect the take up of the dye.

As an example, with our procion mx dyes, this dove grey only requires 0.1g of black dye powder per 100g of yarn. Here you can see the colour on a pure wool chunky yarn:

And this is the same shade on our (sadly discontinued), handspun silk/angora goat down:

Note how the different yarns use the same dye formula and method but the colour looks quite different (even allowing for photography)  which shows the importance of factoring in both the nature of the item being dyed as well as the dye itself.

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