Dye-Lishus Cotton Sliver is an undyed, PFD (prepared for dyeing) cotton fibre that has been treated to accept dye colour directly using any dye stuff. The cellulose structure is changed so that it behaves as if scoured and mordanted in preparation for dyeing before it goes to the mill; there is no chemical added to the fibre. There is no need to use fixatives or mordants when dyeing Dye-Lishus Cotton.
The super soft Dye-Lishus Cotton Sliver can be handspun as it is or it can be blended with another fibre before spinning. If the dual fibre yarn is then dyed (without a fixative or mordant) the dye will remain permanent on the Dye-Lishus fibre only.
Dye Tests on Dye-Lishus Cotton
Before dyeing the cotton sliver it is necessary to pre-wet it. This helps the dye solution to migrate evenly throughout the fibre. Dye-Lishus Cotton Sliver is sold as Prepared for Dyeing (PFD), however oils and dirt may have transferred to the fibre during handling and this will also effect the absorbency of the dye.
The cotton sliver was washed in a bowl of warm water containing half a teaspoon of Synthrapol and then rinsed in clean water. The cotton fibre is fully wetted when it no longer floats. The fibre was then squeezed and set aside.
Dyeing Dye-Lishus Cotton Sliver with Procion MX Dye
For the purpose of this experiment, a quarter teaspoon of Procion MX dye was dissolved in a small amount of warm tap water and then topped up with 100ml of cold water and stirred. The wetted cotton sliver was submerged in the dye solution for 10 minutes. See the usual methods for dyeing with Procion MX dyes
Dyeing Dye-Lishus Cotton Sliver with Acid Dye
For the purpose of this experiment, a quarter teaspoon of Acid dye was dissolved in a small amount of hot tap water and then topped up with 100ml of boiled water from the kettle and stirred. The 2nd sample of wetted cotton sliver was also submerged in the dye solution for 10 minutes. See the usual methods for dyeing with Acid dyes
Dyeing Dye-Lishus Cotton Sliver with Brazilwood Natural Dye
A table spoon full of Brazilwood Natural dye was stirred into a 150ml jar of hot water for this third experiment. The solution was then microwaved on full power for 3 minutes. When cooled, the dye "tea" was strained through a folded paper towel to remove the Brazilwood. The 3rd sample of wetted cotton sliver was then submerged in the dye solution for 10 minutes. A vast variation in colours can be achieved from Natural Dyes using different mordants and techniques
Results of the Dye Tests
Each of the small batches of dyed fibre were removed from the dye solution and squeezed to remove the excess liquor. They were then washed separately in a warm solution of water and Synthrapol and then rinsed in plain water until it was clear. This photograph illustrates that there is no residue of dye remaining on the dyed Dye-Lishus Cotton Sliver
The Brazilwood dyed Dye-Lishus Cotton Sliver shows different shades of red and purple. This is because the undyed end of the fibre sample was squeezed out with the dye sodden end of the same sample and some of the colour transferred. The dye only came into contact with the undyed fibre for a couple of minutes and demonstrates the effectiveness of dyeing Dye-Lishus without additional chemicals. The Procion MX dye sample was treated the same way and the blue transferred almost evenly across the undyed part the fibre sample.
The colourful photograph below shows the Dye-Lishus Cotton Sliver dyed using (left to right) Royal Blue Procion MX Dye, Safflower Natural Dye, Royal Blue Acid Dye, and Brazil Wood Acid Dye.
Conclusion of Dye Test
Dye-Lishus Cotton Sliver offers opportunities for experimenting with all dyes, including food colourings. The most exciting result was the colour variations achieved by the Natural Dyes.
The Safflower Natural Dye was prepared in exactly the same way as the Brazilwood but the cotton fibre was submerged for only a minute. The surprising result was a subtle shade of yellow which did not wash out.
To repeat batches of consistent colours, it is a good idea to take exact measurements and timings and record them in a notebook.