how can I tie dye silk chiffon?

Name: Jennie
Message: I wish to tie dye Silk chiffon, please can you advise, as it will not take kindly to hot water. I am also having trouble finding a supplier of this material.
Many Thanks

Silk chiffon can be dyed in hot water, or with steaming after the dye is applied, using acid dyes, or it can be dyed at room temperature using fiber reactive dye and soda ash.

A great many fiber artists steam their acid-dyed silk chiffon, to set the dye, without a problem. In fact, this method is preferably for those who wish to preserve as much of the sheen of the silk fabric as possible.

I personally prefer to use fiber reactive dye on silk, using soda ash, because I dye cotton more frequently, and the same dye recipes can be used with silk as with cotton. However, it should be noted that the high pH of the soda ash techniques alters the feel for the silk a little. It tends to make it softer and less shiny. If this is a problem for you, I recommend that you use acid dyes, instead. Fiber reactive dyes can be also used as acid dyes if an acid dye recipe is followed, such as Dharma's "Tie-dyeing silk in a microwave" recipe.

You can also use special silk paints. Paint is not dye, because it contains a binder (a sort of glue) to attach the pigment to the fiber. This can make the fabric feel a little less soft; however, high quality silk paints do not affect the hand of the fabric very much.

Silk chiffon can be purchased from Test Fabrics, Dharma Trading Company, and from Rupert, Gibbon, and Spider's Silk Commection. The latter two companies also sell silk chiffon scarves, and Dharma Trading Company sells some silk clothing blanks.

Posted: Friday - February 11, 2005 at 08:58 PM          

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