I am trying to dye 100% white cotton to a very bright vibrant red using fiber reactive dyes. What is the difference between the procion dyes?
In the last two sites, are the Bright Scarlet and Fire Engine Red the same in both sites? (The color swatches look different in comparing the two sites). Out of the three sites, which red would be the brightest? Thank you very much for your time and consideration. You and your website are inspiring beyond belief!
The Procion MX fiber reactive dyes at Dharma Trading Company are a little less expensive than the similar dyes at the other two companies, because they come in larger jars, a minimum of two ounces each, compared to only two-thirds of an ounce per jar at Mister Art and Dick Blick. Larger jars cost less per gram of dye, as a rule.
The colors at Mister Art and Dick Blick are exactly the same as each other, for the colors with the same names, since they both sell Jacquard Products brand Procion MX dyes. Try to imagine a color between what the swatches for the two companies show, for each color name. Some of the colors are identical at Dharma, the ones that contain only a single color of dye, but many of the colors are proprietary mixtures, and are therefore slightly different at Dharma than at the other two. The reds in particular are either slightly bluish in color or are mixture of slightly bluish reds with either yellow or orange, to make them more of a 'true' red.
To compare different colors, look at my page of "Which Procion MX colors are pure, and which mixtures?". The dyes at Dick Blick and Mister Art are listed in the "Rupert Gibbon and Spider" column. Apparently the "Fire Engine Red" sold by Dick Blick and Mister Art is the same dye mixture as Dharma's "#9 scarlet". It is a mixture of red MX-5B with orange MX-2R. It is not the same as Bright Scarlet, which is another red mixture.
I think that Fire Engine Red is as excellent bright red mixture. I'm afraid I do not remember how Bright Scarlet compares, as I have not used it for many years. I usually mix my own red from the two pure single-hue colors red MX-5B with orange MX-2R. It is often handy to purchase a pre-mixed color, however.
If you are dyeing a solid color, you won't much care about my next point, but if you are tie-dyeing, you will notice that some color mixtures separate out a little on the fabric, so that areas of red are surrounded by a little yellow haloing. If this is undesirable, the Fire Engine Red (or Dharma's #9) is very good, because the orange and red do not separate out. For solid colors, either mixture will work well.
I recommend filtering your dye through nylon pantyhose-type stockings after you dissolve it. If you don't have any worn-out stockings, buy the cheapest store brand of knee-high nylon stocking at a drug store. You can also use a coffee filter to strain your dye mixtures, but it is much, much slower, and more perfect at filtering, than is usually required.
Be sure to prewash your cotton in hot water, with detergent. Boost the action of the detergent by adding some extra soda ash. If you have not yet purchased your fabric, look for mercerized PFD cotton, or use rayon, instead, as both of these will dye produce brighter colors than non-mercerized cotton will. Avoid dyeing permanent-press or stain-resistant fabric. For the very brightest colors, use more dye powder than the recipe calls for, and be sure that your dyeing temperature is at least 70°F, if not higher.
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Posted: Saturday - November 01, 2008 at 03:12 PM