Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Dyeing Silk

More warm colors:

silk cloth5

Dyeing silk is a two step process: de-gum, and then dye. I always assume silk comes to me with the sericin (gum) still in it. I remove it in an alkaline bath of water, detergent and soda ash, then I apply the dye.

Specifics? I use a table top roaster with inside dimensions of about 12" by 18" x 6" deep (or so, I'm guessing here). I fill it about 2" deep, squirt in some dish detergent and add 2T soda ash. Then I layer in the silk, about 2 to 3 ounces worth, turn it on to 215ºF and leave it for 2 to 3 hours. After de-gumming, I lift out the silk, drain it, and rinse out the pan.

I refill, with 2" water, add a cup of vinegar or 2T citric acid crystals, the dye stock, and then re-enter the silk. I leave it, at 215ºF, for another 2 to 3 hours. I let the silk cool in the dyebath, and the next day I rinse and dry it. I use up existing dyestock solutions, either Lanaset or Cibacron fiber reactive. In fact, the only dye I won't use on silk is *weak acid* or level acid dyes, sometimes called Kiton type.

And because it's all about the photos:

altar cloth3

Treenway's 8/2 reeled silk sett at 24 epi. Dyed as yarn, not fiber, some painted and some immersion, as described above.


Blogger Marcy said...

Oh, my. Silk Porn. *swoon* Thank you, hless!

8:49 AM  
Blogger June said...

Do you rinse the silk after degumming/before dyeing? I was thinking the residual soda ash might neutralize some of the acid in the next step...? I tried degumming once, but I found the smell overpowering (and intolerable).


8:53 AM  
Blogger claudia said...

Marcy has such a way with words...

I'm psyched for silk! I've got a whole bobbin of spun silk and a bunch of top all in boring white that is JUST BEGGING to be colorful.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

Wow, that's incredible!

6:11 PM  
Blogger Stasia said...

What incredible work. Those colors are jusr gorgeous!

10:45 AM  
Blogger richnoyes said...

If you are using Cibacron, you might try adding salt - say 40g/l, leave 20 mins then add some bicarbonate or soda instead of acid. might improve the colour yield!
Richard - www.richardnoyes.com

4:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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4:15 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Gosh, this post is really old but that silk is beautiful.. such awesome colors.

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi i am a silk dyer and weaver from india. i now a dys use lot of wild silk which is dark in clolor and very difficult to dye without bleaching.
what type of bleach you recommend ?
hydorgen peroxide or hydrosulfite?
could you please explain the process/

4:31 AM  

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