dyeing silk to match cotton
Message: I am becoming very familiar with procion mx; and growing fond of tie dyes and crystal wash. my brother has asked for a shirt for work (dress shirt) and said he would need me to pick out a tie to match. I would like to CW a shirt (already bought, 100% cotton white-what I am used to) and do a tie in a solid color i used to cw, to match. dharma only has silk ties, and they say don't wash. how would i rinse my pro mx out? if i have to use silk dye, how can I find a color that would match/compliment a pro mx dye? this could start me on a new silk adventure, but its important these match. I have done several silk/velvet scarves with pro mx, i know the back (silk side) dyes different, should I use one of these to get an idea of how the color will come out?thank you so much, your website has been an invaluablt resource. What an act of love it is.
Dharma used to sell washable ties, I believe, but it looks as though their current batch will lose their shape if washed or even allowed to get very wet. It's a problem with the interfacing and possibly the stitching. Perhaps some of the materials will shrink while others do not, ruining the shape of this particular batch of silk ties. Better not try dyeing these ties.
One option would be to use silk paints, matching by eye, but I think a better option would be to make a tie from fabric that you have dyed. I have not done this myself, but my mother once made a tie for my husband out of 100% silk in a satin weave. Avoid polyester like the plague, as it is very difficult to dye. Dharma is one of the possible places to buy silk yardage, but your local fabric store may very well have it. It should also have patterns for ties, or check the web page "Make-Your-Own-Tie Patterns". Ties can be made from non-shiny fabrics such as cotton knit, as well, of course. In any case, you will need to buy the appropriate interfacing material at your local fabric store.
Silk, even silk satin, can be dyed exactly as you dye cotton, using the usual soda ash recipe. It will be softer and less shiny as a result. Or, instead, you can use an acid dye recipe to dye silk with the same MX dyes you use, but with heat added, and with vinegar instead of soda ash, as, for example, in Dharma's recipe for "Tie-Dyeing Silk in a Microwave". Vinegar does not soften and reduce the shine of silk the way that soda ash does, and silk is versatile enough to be dyed either way. (Do not attempt to use the acid dye recipe on cotton; cotton requires a high pH.) If shininess is not a major issue, just dye the silk as you always dye your cotton.
All pure, unmixed MX dye colors will dye the exact same color on silk as on cotton, but mixtures will come out quite differently on the two fabrics, because the different dye colors may dye more or less brightly on cotton, causing mixtures to shift. This is why you have been getting different colors on the rayon nap than the silk backing of your silk velvet scarves. To make sure that your silk and cotton come out matching, dye them in separate containers (or baggies) using the same pure single-color Procion MX type dyes. Avoid the use of pre-mixed colors as it is quite difficult to predict what color will appear when you sue them to dye silk. To determine which of the specific dyes you are using are pure unmixed colors, and which are mixtures, see my table of "Which Procion MX colors are pure, and which mixtures?", which lists actual catalog names and numbers of pure dyes as sold by Dharma, Prochem, and other dye retailers in the US and Europe. I have had great success in low water immersion dyeing a silk purse and a rayon dress to match in this way. (Rayon tends to dye very much like cotton, since both rayon and cotton are made of cellulose.)
Posted: Friday - April 01, 2005 at 08:39 PM