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Dyes

Dyes

Order from a wide range of dyes, dyeing assistants, mordants, thickeners and resists to provide the hand dyer with everything they need for creating hand-dyed yarns, fibres and textiles. Also included here are a selection of dye kits which include different dyes and instructions on how to use them.

If you are buying a dye for fabrics or clothing you need to know the fibre content. An item made from cotton or other cellulose plant fibre such as linen or viscose is best dyed using Procion MX fibre reactive dye. Animal (or protein) fibres which include wool, silk, cashmere and mohair are best dyed using Acid dyes. It is important to note that neither of these dyes will dye polyester thread which is often used for sewing garments. Polyester, which is a synthetic fibre, can only be dyed successfully with a Disperse dye.

Direct dyes, such as Deka L can be used on all natural fibres although colour results are not as bright as Acid and Procion dyes, or as lightfast and washfast, they are an economical option for experimental dyeing and for learning techniques such as Batik.

Natural dyes are made from naturally occurring dyestuff such as dried plants and flowers, and in the case of cochineal, dried beetles! The final outcome of the colour is determined by a number of factors including the type of fibre, the pH level of the water, and the use of mordant.

There are a variety of dye methods and techniques for creating patterning. Wool or silk yarns and fibre can be space dyed (or random dyed) quickly in the microwave (see recipes for Acid dyes in our Blog) or given an even colour in a dye bath. As Procion MX dyes are used in a cold water dye bath they are a good option for Batik which uses a wax resist pattern to prevent areas of fabric from absorbing the dye colour.

Any the dyes (determined by the fibre you are dyeing) can be used for tie-dye and Shibori which is traditionally created using Indigo dyes on silk. The indigo dyes are available in a number of different forms and our dye kits provide the ingredients and directions for getting started.

Useful dyeing equipment such as our flat bottomed bucket and dyeing thermometer can be found in the Tools section and a large number of posts about dyes and dyeing techniques can be found in our Blog.

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