Comparing black Procion dyes from Kraftkolour to other dye sellers

Name: Rasa



Linda Johansen's book
Fabric Dyer's Dictionaryir?t=dyeblog-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1571208631
shows how to mix a small number of Procion dyes to obtain a large number of different solid colors


Procion mx fiber reactive cold water dye

Procion MX Dye

cool water dyes
are ideal for batik

When mixed with soda ash, Procion dyes are permanent, colorfast, and very washable. You can easily create a palette of brilliant colors ranging from light pastels to deep, vibrant hues.



Linda Knutson's book
Synthetic Dyes for Natural Fibersir?t=dyeblog-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0934026238

provides an excellent introduction on how to dye with synthetic dyes.


Country or region: Australia

Message: Paula, your tables re Procion dyes are just magic. Thank you for them. It makes it much easier to work out what dyes others are talking about by having the name comparison table. However, I am stuck with identifying which black is which when people refer to them using Dharma or Prochem names. I purchase my dyes from Kraftkolor in Australia and the names don't match. Can you assist with the provision of the MX code for the blacks please.

[Rasa is referring to the tables on the page "Which Procion MX colors are pure, and which mixtures?".]

All Procion MX dyes that are black are mixed from other colors. There is no Procion MX dye molecule that is black by itself, unlike some other types of fiber reactive dyes which do happen to occur in black, so several colors must be mixed in order to obtain a black.

In some cases, a premixed Procion MX dye is prepared by a manufacturer and sold to multiple retailers; these colors are called "manufacturers' mixes" and will be the same from one supplier to another, with the same MX code. For example, Black MX-CWA and Black MX-CWNA have each been available from several retailers, at various times, though not, as far as I know, from Kraftkolour. Most premixed Procion MX dye colors are mixed in-house by an individual dye supplier; these mixtures cannot have an exact equivalent between dyesellers, since they are mixed to their own formulas, different for each company that mixes them. All of the black Procion dyes from Kraftkolour are proprietary mixes, not manufacturers' mixes, so there is no exact equivalent available from any other dye seller.

Kraftkolour sells three blacks among their Procion MX dyes, which they label Black MX-2R, Black MX-G, and Black GR 200%. Kraftkolour marks one of them, Black MX2R, with an asterisk in their catalog, indicating that they recommend this over similar colors for use as a primary mixing color for making other colors. If you are going to buy only one black Procion dye from Kraftkolour, it should probably be this Black MX2R. Although the color chips in the catalog all look about the same, you can tell a little something about the hue of a dye or dye mixture from its code name. An "R" in the suffix indicates it is probably more reddish than others; a "G" indicates yellowish (from the German word for yellow). This is explained on my page, "What do the letters and numbers in the code name for a Procion MX type dye mean?". However, not all dye sellers follow this convention, so code names are not entirely reliable as clues.

Whenever you use a different pre-mixed dye color from another company, you have to run a few tests to see exactly what color the dye will produce. I am sure that at least one of Kraftkolour's blacks will meet your needs if you do this testing. The most important point, with blacks, is to use more dye. If you need a good solid black, with any Procion black dye mixture, always use a lot of dye powder, much more than you would use for a lighter color. You may need to use up to 10% of the weight of the dry fabric or other fiber, or even up to 12%.

It's worth pointing out that none of the black dye mixtures sold among the Procion MX dyes, from any dye seller, should be relied on to make a neutral gray when used at more dilute concentrations; only grays should be purchased for use as toning colors, because blacks will tend to be bluish or reddish or brownish when used in smaller doses. The one exception is ProChem's 609 deep black, which is pretty much neutral at every concentration, when used for high-water-ratio immersion dyeing to produce solid colors. I would try Kraftkolour's premixed "Grey MXB" for use in toning other colors.

Kraftkolour also indicates that their Black GR 200% is a hot reactive, not actually a Procion dye but another sort of reactive dye that can be used with the Procions, like Dharma's old Jet Black #250, which I believe contains both Procion and non-Procion reactive dyes. These "hot black" dyes require that conditions be warmer in order to react fully with the textile fiber. Lower temperatures will result in off colors. However, some non-Procion blacks are more satisfactory than the Procion blacks, deeper and darker, so these hot reactive dyes have been popular in spite of the inconvenience of the more stringent temperature requirements. The "200%" description indicates that this particular dye is very concentrated, containing less diluant chemicals, so you need use only half as much dye powder to get the standard color intensity from that dye; you can probably get by using less dye powder of that color than of another black.

If you choose to use a non-Procion MX black dye mixture with your Procion MX dyes, you will need to be sure that the reaction temperature, for the reaction between dye and fiber, is high enough. For hints on how to accomplish this most conveniently, see my page, "What is the effect of temperature on fiber reactive dyes?"; scroll down to the section headed "Ways to increase your reaction temperature".

Among the black dyes sold by Dharma Trading Company, there are some recent changes. Their #250 Jet Black, which, like Kraftkolour's Black GR 200%, contains a non-Procion dye in its mixture, has become too expensive for them to make any longer. They still have some, for those who prefer this dye, but will run out soon. They are replacing it with a new in-house mixture, #275 Hot Black, which also contains a non-Procion dye and does best with higher temperatures. We can speculate about whether one of these two dyes from Dharma might be more similar to Kraftkolour's Black GR 200%, but there is no way to tell without trying them side-by-side.

Some dyers are very fond of Dharma's #250 Jet Black, but I confess that I personally have never liked it nearly as much as some of the other blacks, because I have often failed either to use enough dye powder or to raise the temperature high enough, so I ended up with a rather dispiriting dull brown, instead of black. I've always preferred the bluer black dye mixtures, such as Black MX-CWNA. I might actually be happier with the less expensive replacement #275 Hot Black than with #250 Jet Black. I won't know until I try it.

If you ever wanted to try mixing your own black Procion MX dye, you would start with the darkest, dullest unmixed dye colors you can. Dark dull colors do not require as much dye powder to reach the desired depth of shade. You could probably never obtain a true dark black if you were to start only with bright clear colors such as turquoise MX-G, rubine MX-B, and yellow MX-8G, since there are limits on how much dye a given amount of fiber can hold. Start with a dark navy blue, such as blue MX-2G or navy MX-R. The next step would be to counter the blue-ness of the hue by adding an orange. Formerly the best choice would have been the very dull-colored brown MX-GRN, but this has become difficult to obtain, and in most cases has been replaced with a premixed color that was made by mixing brighter dyes, so orange MX-2R would be the next choice. The next step is to correct the hue by adding the opposite color to whatever color cast your black mixture has. If it is purplish, add yellow; if it is bluish, add orange; if it is greenish, add red. Most dyers find this process to take more time than they want to spend, so having the pre-mixed black dye mixtures available to use from our dyesellers is a great convenience.

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Posted: Friday - February 15, 2013 at 09:35 AM          

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