looking for the most suitable dye for alpaca fiber and yarn

Name: Ruth


Dyes for Wool and Other Protein Fibers

Lanaset Dyes

Lanaset dyes

Lanaset Dyes are among the very best dyes for hand-dyeing wool, silk, angora, mohair, and most nylons. You will also need: citric acid, sodium acetate, Glauber salt, Albegal SET, and Synthrapol.

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Paradise Fibers


Region: Michigan, US

Message: I am looking for the most suitable dye for alpaca fiber and yarn.  I am aiming to produce color fast colors and thereby keep my alpaca yarn top quality.  Thank you.

You can dye alpaca with any dye that works on wool. The best, most wash-fast dyes for animal fibers that are available to hand dyers in the US are the Lanaset dyes. See my page, "Lanaset Dyes: A Range of Reactive and Acid Dyes for Protein Fibers". Unlike other types of acid dyes, the Lanaset dyes are very washfast; you can even wash fiber that has been dyed with them in hot water, at 140°F, and they will retain their brightness.

For solid-color dyeing with the Lanasets, your results will be best if you use the recommended auxiliary chemicals, Albegal SET and sodium acetate, in addition to acetic acid, vinegar, or citric acid; PRO Chemical & Dye has a couple of reliable recipes available on their web site.

The Lanaset dye range lacks a clear magenta that is suitable for mixing colors, so dyers use another acid dye in combination with the Lanasets. The two most popular alternatives for this purpose are Polar Red (acid red 131) and WashFast Acid Magenta 338 (acid red 138).

Alpaca tends to produce lighter colors than wool does. This may be because the surface of the fiber scatters light more than other fibers. For deeper hues, you may need to use more time and/or a higher dye concentration than you would use on wool, or even to dye the same fiber more than once. There is less risk of felting when dyeing alpaca than when dyeing wool.

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Posted: Sunday - March 07, 2010 at 11:39 AM          

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