New blog starting mid-July 2014

This is the new blog on the All About Hand Dyeing website. The old blog, which ran through July 9, 2014, is still available for reading, but I will no longer be adding new posts to it. (Its software has not been supported for several years.) This blog takes up where the other one left off, with a little bit of overlap.

See “Recent Posts” in the right margin, or bookmark the RS feed to keep up-to-date on new posts on this site.

12 thoughts on “New blog starting mid-July 2014

  1. Ann McElroy

    I am so glad you are continuing to share your knowledge with us. I have added you tom my Feedly blog roll

  2. JP

    Hello and thank you for all the helpful information you provide on your blog.

    Can you suggest a dye fixative product I might try for a dye bleeding problem I have with a black and white (color-block style) polyester dress I recently purchased? Background: I bought the dress and machine washed it as specified, but ended up with the white turning gray-ish. Fortunately, I was able to exchange it and get another, but I want to “fix” the dye prior to washing to avoid the white turning to gray on the new dress. Unfortunately, I don’t know what type of dye was used to dye the fabric so I am unsure as to what fixative might work; the dress is an inexpensive dress so the dye used is likely inexpensive as well. Is Retayne a product that might work? Or Synthrapol? Something else? Also, would either product work in cold/cool water (I believe using warm/hot water is only going to exacerbate the white to gray bleeding problem)?

    Thank you.

  3. LAB

    I recently bought some interesting yarn – it’s a radically different color depending on what sort of light it’s exposed to. I’ve seen this sort of yarn a couple of times from different dyers – it’s fascinating. I’d love to know how it’s done. Would you happen to know?

    It’s from the Mystical Moose series, on this site:

  4. DYE

    I have some hand dyed fabrics from Nigeria similar to batik. The dyers use Hydro sulphate and Caustic soda for the dyeing. I was wondering if there is a way to improve the color fastness where it isn’t rubbing off on clothing.


  5. NS

    I have a question about neutralizing chlorine bleach. I used chlorine bleach on a garment (material- 97% cotton and 3% spandex) and then I used vinegar to neutralize it (based on bad information in a book!). Can I still save the garment from the dangerous chemicals that are produced due to of vinegar n bleach? Will hydrogen peroxide help with reducing the damaging effects of hypochlorous acid? How much should I use?

    1. Mary

      In water treatment and swimming pool management sodium bisulfite (and sodium meta bisulfite ) are used to neutralize chorine and turn into harmless substances. Is also used to neutralize chlorine in tap water for fish tanks. Could probably get it a swimming pool supply store or more expensively at aquarium store. Or on line. It is normally a crystal you mix in water.
      Good luck!


  6. Karen Perry

    Hello Paula,

    I’ve just started tie-dyeing and use your website like a textbook. I’m a chemistry prof so I love that you include some chemistry in your explanations.

    I have some old Procion MX dye from Maiwa that I bought almost 30 years ago (really, I bought it ~ 1985). I made 2 shirts and then have packed it around the world thinking “someday”. Well, finally I’ve been bitten by the bug again and have made ~ 20 shirts so far. I knew the soda ash and urea were pretty stable, but I wasn’t sure about the dyes. Amazingly, they seem to work just fine. I like really bright colours and so far my shirts have all turned out great. At least they are as bright as any that I have seen. Maybe they will fade faster, but I will just have to wait and see.
    I have some old black dye but the tin has rust on both the inner lid and the inner sides of the can so I’m guessing that the dye is toast. I want to order some more (I’m going Dharma). They have 4 blacks – I have no idea which to get. I want the blackest black there is, but have heard that the expensive jet black isn’t necessarily the best. Would I want the #300, new black? Also, Maiwa recommends mixing 1 part navy to 3 parts black for a deeper black. Does this sound like a good idea to you?

  7. Mary

    So glad I found your web site and forum!

    My small scale dying activities have floundered. I have not had a top loading washing machine in 4 years and my front loader washing machine will not adapt to the task, tho’ it is very good at washing clothes. I have not been successful at solid color dying with hand stirring. Just can’t manage it especially the soda ash part for dark colors. My question is do you or does anyone know if those marvelously simple clothes washing machines consisting of a tub with an agitator, a timer for the motor and a drain for the tub would be capable of small scale dying with fiber reactive dyes, assuming their tubs contained an adequate volume of water for the amount of fabric (3-4 gals for 1 lb or fabric). The bigger ones certainly do agitate; if anything they are on the rough side and they do not drain until you tell them to. They range in price from $80 to &200 . A google search for ” Panda Small Mini Portable Compact Washing Machine” brings up a wide variety of machines of the type, big, small and those with spinners attached.

    Very grateful for your opinion.

  8. Judith

    How long will Procion MX dyes remain usable?
    I am retired and would like to resume dyeing my own fabric for quilting. I have some Procion MX dyes I bought years ago and have kept stored tightly sealed in a dark, dry, cool basement (except for when we lost air conditioning for a week 2 summers ago.)

    I have these Procion dyes:
    304 Lemon Yellow,
    040 Fuchsia
    028 Bright Scarlet
    030 Fire Engine Red
    131 Imperial Purple
    232 Bright Blue
    068 Turquoise
    072 Medium Blue
    130 Strong Navy
    150 Jet Black
    I realize the best thing to do would be to replace them, but that is not economically feasible.
    Is there a way – without wasting very limited resources of time, energy, water, and money – to test them to see if they are still good?
    Please forgive me if I have asked this in the wrong place.



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