What are Acid Dyes?

Acid dyes provide a simple dye system for use with wool, animal fibres and nylon. They give a brighter colour on silk than Procion MX Fibre Reactive Dyes. They can be used to dye fur, feathers, soya bean fibre, angora, cashmere but are not effective on synthetics, other than nylon. There are a range of names, both historic and current for these dyes, but they are now commonly known simply as the ‘Acid Dyes’, which is somewhat inappropriate as they do not contain acid.

Fibrecrafts or Jacquard

George Weil sells both Fibrecrafts Acid Dyes and Jacquard Acid Dyes. The Fibrecrafts dyes offer less colours but in larger more economical quantities, and the skilled dyer will know how to measure and mix quantities to create all the colours of the spectrum. The Jacquard Acid Dyes offer a larger range of ready-mixed colours, providing a ready-made palette for the dyer.

The Fibrecrafts Discharge Acid Dyes are dyes that can easily be removed from fabric using a discharge paste. The discharge paste can be combined with the Fibrecrafts Illuminating Acid Dyes which will replace the discharged colour with the colour of the illuminating acid dye. This makes for a varied and unusual printing technique.

The dyes can be used effectively from a stock solution for painting on silk and are then set with steam. Iron-fix silk paints are made from tiny particles of pigment which sit on the surface of the silk. Dyes, however, penetrate the fibres of the silk and retain the suppleness and reflective qualities of the silk fabric.

The ready mixed liquid silk dyes from Dupont and Jacquard are equally effective on silk fabric. The Dupont silk dyes and Jacquard silk dyes need also to be fixed using steam.


See our blog post Dye Recipes using Acid Dyes to find out more.

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