Just lately I've been experimenting with remazol dyes, which are a kind of fiber reactive dye known as vinyl sulfone dye. After using Procion MX dyes, these are so easy to use! Not that Procion MX dyes are at all difficult, it's just that measuring out the dye powders can be a bit of a pain. Since I am buying the remazol dyes in liquid form, I don't have to mess with the inconvenience of dye powder. No need to turn off the A/C and fans and wear a dust mask to measure them out. Since I'm dyeing in my kitchen, this is a huge convenience....
When measuring out the remazol dye, all I have to do is wear gloves. I measure out a teaspoon of dye into a cup, add water, give a single quick stir, and it's ready to use. There is no need to expend any effort on dissolving! The liquid concentrate stays good for at least a year. The dyes I'm using right now are PRO Chemical & Dye's Liquid Fiber Reactive Dyes.
When measuring out dye powder, such as my original favorite, Procion MX dye, I have to remove every food item, every cutting board, the garlic press, anything that could have an errant particle of dye powder land upon it, from the entire room. Even though most of the dyes we use are reasonably non-toxic, it is important to act as though they are dangerous, just in case we someday discover that one of them is. And, a few of our acid dyes are somewhat toxic.
The drawback of Remazol dye is that it is a little pickier about reaction temperature than even the pickiest of the Procion MX dyes, which is turquoise MX-G. (Turquoise MX-G likes its batching temperature to be 95°F (35°C), though it can work at lower temperatures. A cool 70° studio may not be enough, which makes it important to find sources of additional heat, such as putting items to be batch-cured outside the door during an air-conditioned summer, or on top of the water heater for a little warmth during cooler weather, or on top of an electric blanket which has been protected by a sheet of plastic.)
I've been in a hurry lately, and I've been using LWI techniques, so I've been heating in the microwave for a minute or two, instead of batch-curing overnight. Here is the recipe I used to make the blue/turquoise LWI shirt shown above....
- Crumple one PFD rayon blouse, prewashed, pleating loosely.
- Place crumpled blouse into glass container that is small enough to hold it tightly, with all fabric below the top of the container (I used a 7 cup (1.75 L) Pyrex bowl.
- Stir into two cups (500 ml) of water:
2 teaspoons (10 ml) PRO Intense Blue 50% LR406 Liquid Reactive Dye
- Pour blue dye mixture over blouse in container.
- Stir into one cup (250 ml) of water:
1 teaspoon (5 ml) PRO Turquoise LR410 Liquid Reactive Dye
- Pour turquoise dye mixture over blouse, being sure to cover any areas left white by the blue dye in the previous step.
- Let rest twenty minutes for colors to blend and move on the fabric.
- Dissolve 4 teaspoons (20 ml) soda ash in one cup of warm (not hot) water and pour evenly over blouse.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave for two to three minutes, until water is very hot but plastic wrap is not bulging upwards very far.
- Allow to cool until merely warm to the touch.
- Wash at least twice in hot water, with detergent, until color no longer bleeds into the rinse water.
Since I was in a hurry, I proceeded to microwave the project, instead of leaving it outside in the summer heat overnight: