My greens are either coming out too dark or too bright. Can you help?

Name: Gail



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



Holly Brackmann's book
The Surface Designer's Handbookir?t=dyeblog-20&l=as2&o=1&a=193149990X

includes directions for dyeing with Procion MX dyes


Country or region: Colorado 

Message: I've been all over the web and looked at every chart available. I'm trying to mix my primaries (procion for cotton) to get a soft green. My greens are either coming out too dark or too bright. Can you help?

To make a green lighter in value, use less dye for a given weight of fiber (fabric, yarn, roving, or whatever). For a pale pastel, try as little as one-tenth as much dye per ounce of fiber, as compared to the amount you use for an intense green! Weigh your fiber while it is still dry, before dyeing, so that you will be able to make your calculations. See my page "How much Procion MX dye should I use?" , and scroll down to find Table II, showing guidelines as to how much dye powder you might want to use for a given weight of fiber.

To make a green less bright in color, add either a tiny bit of the opposite color on a color wheel, which is red, or add a neutral toning color, such as gray. This will result in a duller green. If you want to buy a pre-mixed neutral toning color, be sure to buy a gray dye, not black, because black dyes, when diluted, usually turn out to not be neutral, but instead have a tendency toward some color such as blue or purple.

Another way to get a green that is less bright is to start with duller mixing primaries. (See "Which Procion MX colors are pure, and which mixtures?" for a good list of Procion MX dye primaries to use.) You can substitute a navy blue, such as Procion blue MX-2G, mostly sold under the name "cobalt", for the usual bright turquoise primary, and you can substitute a golden yellow for the usual brilliant yellow, Procion yellow MX-8G. The golden yellow will make a more olive sort of green than the pure yellow MX-8G will.

Have you tried the Procion color mixing charts on my website? Maybe one of those recipes will work better for you if you just use less dye powder, per pound of fiber. The Jacquard Products Procion Mixing chart has recipes for pea green, seafoam, new aqua, blue spruce, teal, jade, yellow green, chartreuse, vermillion green, lime green, shamrock, fern green, sage, fatigue green, avocado, artichoke, desert green and olive. See my page, "How can I mix Procion MX dyes to get specific colors?".

I strongly advise every dyer to play at least a little bit with Olli Niemitalo's Dye Mixer Applet; there is a link to it on my color mixing page that I just linked to. It's a wonderful tool for visualizing what colors you want to mix in order to get a certain result.

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Posted: Monday - July 01, 2013 at 08:31 AM          

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