Monday, September 1, 2014

Immersion Dyeing Method for Cotton

I’ve had some mercerized cotton yarn kicking around in my stash for what seems like forever, that I just could not find a use for.  Why….colour of course.
The yarn is all 16/2 mercerized cotton in baby pink and bone….the pink is much too sweet and the bone was much too, well, old bone looking!  A perfect reason to haul out the dyes and have a dye day.
The first task was making skeins of about between 2-4 ounces each.  I love my little cheap and cheerful Lacis  Skein Holder.  I’ve had it for about 25 years and it just keeps on going!
After making all of the skeins I soaked them overnight in plain water ~ it took overnight because the bone coloured cotton was very hydrophobic.
We decided to dye using the Immersion Dye bath Method for ProcionMx, which entailed dissolving the dye in a small amount of water and adding it to a large container of 105 F water.
Then immerse the fibre you are dyeing and add salt, then stir continuously for 15 minutes and then occasionally for another 15 minutes.
After 30 minutes you dissolve Soda Ash in a small amount of warm water and add to the bath; stir continuously for 5 minutes and then occasionally for another 30 minutes.
Take the fibre out and rinse first in cold water, then raise the temperature to hot.  Unlike heat dyeing of wool, not all of the dye is absorbed into the cotton, there will be some dye bleed. Add synthrapol to the final rinse to remove every last speck of loose dye.
Because we were dyeing 9 skeins, we did it in two separate batches; there was a lot of stirring when we did 5 at a time!
This fabric was the inspiration for my dye choices; it’s called Big Blue Poppy!
Here are the final colours drying in the shade…..finally, colours I can use!

This is the formula that I used to dye these cotton skeins:

For 4 ounces ½ heaping teaspoon of procion dye, 2 ¼ tablespoons salt, 10 cups water, ¾ tablespoon soda ash.
For 2 ounces ¼ heaping teaspoon of procion dye, 1 1/8 tablespoon salt, 5 cups water, 2 ¼ teaspoons soda ash.


Cindie said...

What beautiful colors! I can't wait to see what's woven out of them.

Susan said...

What a change! The new colours are great and now ready to be transformed again on a loom.

Great lesson in how easy this is!


Textrinum said...

Thanks so much for sharing this ! It inspires me for future projects. Daniela

Dianne said...

Thanks for the recipe. Would this method work on linen thread? I have cones of a dusky pale pink which is just not inspiring. Great colour might get me weaving it up.

Lynnette said...

Hi Dianne, although I've never tried to dye linen, it is a baste fibre like cotton, so it should work. I wouldn't be surprised if you had to soak the fibre for a long time to get it really, really wet; but ProcionMX can be used to dye straw for basket weaving, so linen shouldn't be a problem. If you have any trouble finding the Procion in NZ, email me and I'll send you the names of some places that should mail to you.

spinweaverbarbara said...

What a great colour change. These are both beautiful and inspirational.