I absolutely loved the "old" Tulip dyes and did the water color type painting/dyeing on t-shirts but don't know what to use anymore since the product has changed.

Name: C


Jacquard dye-na-flow fabric colors, ecruimage-1910599-11428147

Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow
Fabric Colors

Dye-Na-Flow is a free-flowing textile paint made to simulate dye. These highly concentrated, translucent colors are incredibly versatile. They are perfect for silk painting, airbrushing, tie-dying, simplified batik techniques, or with a brush or sponge.


Jacquard dye-na-flow fabric colors, exciter pack, dye-na-flowimage-1910599-11428147

Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow
Exciter Pack

These kits provide the perfect way to get started in craft and fabric painting. Each set is packed with 9 half-ounce (15 ml) bottles of Jacquard's most popular and vibrant colors, along with stimulating project photos and instructions.


Jacquard funky groovy procion tie-dye kitimage-1910599-11428147

Jacquard Funky Groovy Procion Tie-Dye Kit

Get sizzling color and electrifying designs in just 3 easy steps. This professional-quality kit supplies enough to make 5 adult-sized T-shirts, or any natural fiber garment of equal quantity. Finished projects stay brilliant after repeat washings.


Country or region: USA

Message: I absolutely loved the "old" Tulip dyes and did the water color type painting/dyeing on tshirts but dont know what to use anymore since the product has changed. No heat set was required, you could use it straight out of the bottle.  There was no specific amount of time you had to use it in and it was just beautiful. I don't have a good place for doing crafts or mixing ingredients. Any ideas? Thank you in advance!

Tulip has made a lot of different products, over the years. You could be talking about one of their fabric paints, or you could be talking about the fiber reactive dyes.

For watercolor-style painting on fabric with fabric paint, I recommend you try either Dye-Na-Flowimage-1910599-11428147 paint, or diluted Setacolorimage-1910599-11428147 paint. They can be applied to dampened fabric, for wet-on-wet effects, or applied to dry fabric for a completely different look. Both of these fabric paints do need to be heat set with either an iron or a commercial clothes dryer, after the paint has thoroughly dried in the fabric, but they are superior in quality to other brands of fabric paints that don't happen to need to be heat-set. Since they are paint, they do change the feel of the fabric very slightly, but far less than most fabric paints. There is nothing to mix; you can just dampen your shirt for watercolor effects, spread it out on a plastic-covered table (a cheap plastic tablecloth works well), and paint on the thin dye-like paint. After the shirt is completely dry, heat-set the paint either by pressing all over the shirt with a hot iron, or take it to a laundromat and use the commercial clothes dryer. Commercial clothes dryers get much hotter than home clothes dryers, so they are better for heat-setting fabric paint. Alternatively, many fabric paints will become permanent even at room temperature if left unwashed for at least a month before wearing.

Tulip has packaged several different formulas of fiber reactive dye, some containing Procion MX dyes, others containing Drimarene K dyes, which are similar but which require more warmth for the dye fixing step. For fabric painting with dye, I am very enthusiastic about Procion MX dyes and other kinds of fiber reactive dyes. In the presence of a high-pH dye-setting chemical such as soda ash, the molecules  of fiber reactive dyes form a permanent chemical bond to natural-fiber fabrics. After the excess unattached dye has been washed out, there is absolutely no feel remaining on the fabric from the dye, and, since the dye penetrates inside the individual fibers of the fabric, the color remains even after that fabric has been subject to wear. The Procion MX dyes have the advantage of reacting very well with the cotton at room temperature (anywhere over 70 degrees F), so there is no need for heat-setting.

A drawback of some of the Tulip dye formulas has been that they contain the soda ash or other high-pH chemical mixed right in the the dye powder. This can work fine, but it means that, for intense dye colors, you must complete your dyeing within an hour of adding water to the dye mixture, as the dye begins to react with the water and soda ash immediately upon being dissolved in water. It is more convenient to buy dye powders in which the soda ash is to be mixed with water separately and used as a presoak for the fabric, so that you don't have to hurry so much to use up your dye. I recommend that you get a good tie-dye kit with Procion dyes, such as the excellent Jacquard Products tie-dye kits that are often sold in crafts or fabric stores, or order a tie-dye kit from Dharma Trading Company or PRO Chemical & Dye. The same materials can be used for dye painting as are used for tie-dyeing.

For a more in-depth overview of painting fabric with dyes, see my June 20, 2014 entry in my All About Hand Dyeing Q&A blog, "How can I print my own fabric with dye, so that it leaves no texture on the fabric at all?".

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Posted: Sunday - June 22, 2014 at 10:19 AM          

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