Monthly Archives: February 2015

Will Procion MX dyes work at higher temperatures?

Hi there, I was wondering if fibre reactive dyes will work at higher temperatures? I have trying to dye a rayon blend fabric black without success with procion MX dyes. I even used so much dye and salt that I was having difficulty dissolving it! Anyway I found an alternative dye that works really well but it requires setting at 60 degrees and was wondering what the effect of a high temperature would be on the procion dyes. I would like to use the new black to mix with with procion dyes if possible.

What fiber is the rayon blended with? And what dye are you using, that is working better than Procion dye on rayon? Is it working better just because it is a more intense color, or does it somehow like rayon especially well, or is it also dyeing the other fiber that your rayon is blended with?

60°C, which is 140° Fahrenheit, is a good temperature for a lot of fiber reactive dyes. It’s the ideal temperature for Remazol type fiber reactive dyes. It’s not a bad temperature for Procion MX dyes, though it is warmer than they need.

The effect of warmer temperatures on the Procion MX dyes will be to make them react more quickly—with whatever they are right next to. If you wait until the Procion dyes have soaked well into the fiber you want to dye, this is no problem at all. In fact, extra warmth can be helpful in getting the best possible color intensity from your Procion dyes, if your studio temperature tends to be a little cold, or if you don’t want to wait as long for the dye reaction to take place.

If you apply too much heat immediately after adding the dyes to the fiber (or the fiber to the dyebath), it can speed of the dye-fiber reaction enough to encourage ring dyeing, in which only the very outermost layer of each fiber gets dyed. What happens as a result is that even the slightest amount of wear can degrade the color, as the dyed layer wears off. Ring dyeing is a fault that you want to avoid.

If you apply a lot of heat when the dye is still mostly in the water, most especially if you’ve already added the soda ash or whatever other chemical you’re using to raise the pH, the dye immediately reacts with the water, so then little dye is left to react with the fiber.

Letting the Procion MX dye soak in well before you heat it up will make sure that everything is fine. How much time you should allow depends on how thick the material is. Fifteen minutes is fine if it’s thin and the dye is circulating freely; if the material is thick, or if you have the material tightly crammed into a small container for low water immersion dyeing, you’d do better to allow an hour. See my page, “What is the effect of temperature on fiber reactive dyes?“. Depending on how much heat you need, there are many different ways to supply it.

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Once thin silk takes one color of dye can it be overdyed a darker color?

I recently dyed some pieces of silk and gauze. Once the silk takes one color of dye can it be overdyed a darker color? The colors I got were not what I expected. In one a green color took over the piece. I have tried over dying the green with cobalt and it’s not doing anything. I would love any advice you have to offer.

Thin silk is limited, as you’ve seen, in how many dye molecules it can take up. While thicker fabrics such as a heavy raw silk, or the cotton jersey of t-shirts, can add more color through six or more rounds of dyeing, a very thin sheer fabric, such as chiffon or gauze, may do so through only one or two rounds of dyeing, refusing to change color further when you dye it again.

Physical manipulation of the fabric, as by rough washing, can free up more dye sites in a fabric, but that’s not a good idea with fine silks.

Removing the dye color with a dye discharge chemical, such as thiox, will probably not help, because the dye molecules will still be bound to the fabric even after they have been decolorized by the reducing agent. The hypochlorite in chlorine bleach might chew up enough of the surface of the fabric to reveal more dye sites, if you’re dyeing cotton gauze, but you should never use chlorine bleach on silk, since it is very destructive to protein fibers.

You might be able to add another layer of color if you use an entirely different class of dye which attaches to the molecules of the fabric in a different way. For example, if you have been dyeing your silk with Procion dyes plus soda ash, you might find that dyeing them with acid dye plus an acid, such as vinegar, will allow one more round of color—or if you’ve been using acid dyes, which includes Procion dyes that have been set with an acid rather than soda ash, then you might try dyeing with Procion or another fiber reactive dye, and setting it with soda ash. Definitely a matter of trial and error, no guarantees that it will work, but it is worth experimenting.

Also see my earlier post, “Will a fabric reach a saturation point after which it cannot take any more dye, or any more dye of a given colour?“.

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Are Lanasyn dyes the same as Lanaset/Sabraset dyes?

Hi. I have been experimenting with Lanasyn acid dyes from Archroma on wool yarn, but I can’t seem to find much information on them online, and none on your web page either. Is there somewhere I can get information on washfastness, full range of shades, etc.? Are they actually the same as Lanaset/Sabraset, or something else altogether? It seems like some of the colours, like the blues, are the same names, but not the reds. Any information on their properties would be appreciated. Thanks!

Archroma (which used to be Clariant) applies the name Lanasyn to two entirely different ranges of acid dyes. Their Lanasyn M dyes are 1:2 metal complex dyes (aka premetalized dyes), while their Lanasyn F dyes are acid milling dyes.

I don’t believe that there is any overlap between the Lanasyn dyes and the acid milling dyes or metal complex dyes in the Lanaset dye range. The Lanaset dyes are made by a different dye company, Huntsman Textile Effects. I think the only thing that the Lanasyn dyes have in common with the Lanaset dyes is that they are made for use on wool, as the Latin word for wool is Lana.

(Some of the dyes in the Lanaset dye range do contain acid milling dyes, including Lanaset Yellow 4G, Lanaset Yellow 2R, and Lanaset Blue 2R, while some of them contain metal complex dyes, including Lanaset Red 2B, Lanaset Brown B, and Lanaset Grey G. Some appear to contain both acid milling dyes and metal complex dyes mixed together, including Lanaset Bordeaux B, Lanaset Navy R, and Lanaset Black B. Some of the Lanaset dyes are reactive dyes, which cannot be part of either Lanasyn dye line, as are the Lanasol dyes, which also belong to Huntsman.)

In general, the 1:2 metal complex dyes are relatively dull in color, including mostly blacks, greys, navies, and dark reds, while the acid milling dyes are brilliant in color, including brights such as turquoise, violet, and bright yellow.

Archroma claims that washfastness and lightfastness are very high for their Lanasyn M dyes, and that washfastness is good for their Lanasyn F dyes, but lightfastness is not as good. They mention that the Lanasyn F dyes are not so good for color mixing.

I have not been able to find further information on the dyes in the Lanasyn F and Lanasyn M dyes ranges, aside from finding a couple of lists online of the names of the dyes in each range, and tentatively identifying the Colour Index names of a few of them. What you will need to do is contact Archroma and ask them for more information about their dyes, including specific washfastness and lightfastness information.

Some dye retailers supply a range of dyes that includes a few of the Lanasyn dyes, along with other brands of dye that act similarly and can be used with them. Kraftkolour, in Australia, sells a collection of acid milling dyes that includes both Lanasyn F dyes and dyes of the brand names Acidol, Nylosan, and Irganol, describing them as “Acid Milling dyes selected for their similar dyeing properties to the Premetallised dyes”, adding, “This range of bright, strong colours are dyed in a weakly acid dyebath and have good fastness.” Depending on your suppliers, you might also want to look into one of these brands. The Irgalan dyes are 1:2 metal complex dyes which a Dye Forum member in Denmark asked me about almost a decade ago.

Interestingly, there are dyes with the Lanasyn brand name that have also been sold under the Irgalan brand name; for example, Lanasyn Grey BLR is also listed as Irgalan Grel BRL; its Colour Index name is Acid Black 60. Other Lanasyn dyes whose Colour Index names I tentatively identified are these:

Lanasyn Scarlet F-3GL 130 C.I. acid red 111
Lanasyn Red F-5B 150 C.I. acid red 143
Lanasyn Violet F-BL 180 C.I. acid violet 48
Lanasyn Navy M-DNL C.I. acid blue 56
Lanasyn Black M-DL 170 C.I. acid black 194

Acid Black 60 is one of the dyes sold for research purposes by the Sigma Aldrich chemical company, which provides the following nicely symmetrical molecular structure:

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