Where can I find a better price for Lanaset dyes in the UK?
Country or region: United Kingdom
Message: Hi, Paula - although I have found your site to be extremely helpful I have not written to you before. However, I am thinking of switching to Lanaset Dyes and am having trouble locating them in the UK. I know that you have often given information regarding dye suppliers in other parts of the world and wondered if you can help in this instance? Ironically, I do have a supplier of Lanaset dyes in my town of Leeds, but I have contacted them and they are geared up for industrial/commercial dyeing and their prices are £19.95/approx $30 per 40g-90g pot. This is beyond my means, even for three primaries and a black - it also seems quite expensive per gram, compared with Prochem and Dye's starter kit for example.
I would love to buy from Prochem and Dye, but the minimum shipping charge virtually trebles the cost. (I remember you recommended some of their liquid dyes as better value than the Jacquard equivalent, but the cost of shipping would be astronomical!)
I will buy from ProChem and Dye if I really have to, but it would be easier if I can buy the same/similar dyes here. Generally, dye seems to cost 50% to 100% more in the UK than in the states, but savings on shipping should offset some of that.
With many thanks for your website and your help,
I'm afraid I have no help to offer on finding a more economical source in the UK for Lanaset dyes. (Previously described here.)
The prices on small quantities of any sort of textile dye, that is, quantities small enough for hand-dyers, are higher everywhere I look outside of the US. There are equally expensive sources within the US, but also more economical sources here. The same Procion MX type dyes that cost less than 50 cents to dye one pound from the best US dye suppliers cost almost three times that from suppliers in Canada, Germany, or Australia, and five times that in the UK. (See "Comparison of Dye Costs".) It's not difficult to find dyes in the US that cost just as much as dyes in other countries, however, and cost often has no relation to the quality of the dye.
If the only source for Lanaset dyes that's local to you charges the equivalent of $30 for a 60-gram (two ounce) jar, as compared to PRO Chemical & Dye's average price of $10 per two ounce jar (varying by color), then tripling the cost for postage should come out to just about the same price. I would advise you to contact ProChem by phone or email and ask if they will use a less expensive (and slower) form of international shipping. If a box with $100 worth of dyes costs $50 to ship via USPS Priority Mail International Flat Rate Box (see the USPS shipping cost calculator), that would be a better deal for you than buying locally, though still quite an investment. Ask them what the slowest form of shipping for their small starter set would cost. Also contact Earth Guild in the US; they have different-sized jars, and handle their shipping differently, so it's worth checking to see which works out better for you. Earth Guild's six-color Starter Set costs $33 and is small enough in size that the shipping cost might not be onerous. If one company ships via USPS (government service) and another only via UPS (private company), the one that uses USPS might have a better deal for you. While you're at it, consider Kraftkolour in Australia, comparing their costs for dyes and for international shipping. They charge $11.50 (minus the 10% GST) for a 50-gram jar of Lanaset dye, regardless of color. It's also important to check on whether there will be a large Customs fee for importing dyes into your country. There might be a specific order cost you need to avoid exceeding so that you don't have to pay duty.
The dyes themselves are mostly manufactured in Asia, where the prices are very low, but it's completely impractical for us to buy dyes in the quantities in which manufacturers are willing to sell them. Lanaset dyes are manufactured by Huntsman Textile Effects, whose global headquarters are located in Singapore. Dye manufacturers such as Dystar have minimum order sizes of five kilograms per dye color, and I would guess the same to be true of Huntsman; the price per kilogram is far better than you'll see for smaller jars of dye, but the large package size, and large investment, are completely out of range for most of us as hand dyers.
Lanaset dyes include both reactive dyes for wool and metal complex dyes for wool. You can buy metal complex dyes (variously spelled as premetallised or pre-metallized acid dyes) that are similar or identical to some of the dyes in the Lanaset line. The Kraftkolour premetallised dyes are the Irgalan brand. I don't know about the availability in the UK, but it's another alternative you should consider looking for. I don't see metal complex dyes at Kemtex Educational Supplies, though they do have acid milling dyes.
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Posted: Friday - April 13, 2012 at 11:17 AM
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Published On: Aug 29, 2012 02:49 PM