Dyeing silk and polyester with iDye Natural and iDye Poly, I got maroon instead of red. Is there anything I can get to bring the colour of the shell back to a vibrant normal red colour?

Name: Rhian


Rit dye powder- color remover 2 oz

Rit Color Remover

Rit Color Remover removes or reduces fabric color before dyeing. It will also safely remove dye stains on solid white items washed by mistake with colored items.



Jacquard color remover

Jacquard Color Remover

This highly concentrated liquid takes existing color and stains out of fabrics while it whitens. Unlike bleach, it removes color gently, without damaging fibers.


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Jacquard acid dyes

Jacquard Acid Dyes

Jacquard Acid Dyes are concentrated, powdered, hot water dyes that produce the most vibrant possible results on protein fibers including silk, wool, cashmere, alpaca, feathers, and most nylons.


Country or region: Australia

Message: Hello, I dyed a dress that was 100% silk shell and 100% polyester lining. with iDye Natural and iDye Polyester. I was after a normal vibrant red colour for the shell and didnt mind to much about the underlay as the dress was already a medium pink. The dress has come out a maroon colour. I want to know if there is anything I can get to bring the colour of the shell back to a vibrant normal red colour?

The kindest solution for the dress would be to decide that maroon is not so bad. Removing the color is not guaranteed to work, and each additional color change step will include more stress to the silk fabric.

The unexpected color you obtained is not entirely surprising. Dye mixtures that produce a certain color on one fiber, such as cotton, often produce a different color on different fibers, such as silk. Although Jacquard's iDye for Natural Fabrics does work on silk, it is designed to produce the labeled color on cotton instead. Since cotton and silk are chemically quite different—silk is made of protein, while cotton is made of carbohydrate—many dyes that work on both fibers work a little differently on one than on the other. For more predictable color results on silk, it is better to use an acid dye, such as Jacquard Acid Dye, instead of a direct dye like iDye for Natural Fabrics. There are many types of acid dyes. Since you're in Australia, I recommend that you investigate the acid dyes sold online by Kraftkolour and by Batik Oetoro.

To undo the results of dyeing, the best method is to use a sulfur-based dye remover, such as Rit Color Remover (sodium hydrosulfite) or Jacquard Color Remover (thiourea dioxide). Batik Oetoro sells both of these chemicals online in Australia, under the names sodium hydrosulphite and TUD, respectively. They should be used in very hot tap water, or, for best results, heated with the dress in a non-aluminum cooking pot on the stovetop. I recommend using Rit Color Remover or other brands of sodium hydrosulfite in the washing machine, because, although it does not work as well in the hot tap water that your washing machine uses, it's so much less trouble to do it that way, and you can always repeat the process on the stovetop if the washing machine method doesn't work.

Don't ever use chlorine bleach on silk! Ordinary household bleach, which is based on the chemical sodium hypochlorite, quickly destroys silk, shredding it to unusability, and it produces an unpleasant permanent dull yellow stain on polyester.

You are likely to find that the polyester dye is removed as well as the silk dye. There's no way to avoid this problem, except by removing the lining first, which would be far too much trouble. Some dyes can be easily discharged with a sulfur-containing color remover, but others cannot. I can't tell you which of the different dyes in your dress will be discharged, and which will remain unchanged or even changed to a different color. This means that the results will be completely unpredictable until you try it. Color Remover might remove only the iDye Natural, and/or the iDye Poly, and/or the original medium pink polyester dye, and/or the original silk dye, or any combination of these four. Furthermore, and one of these dyes might, instead of be lightened or removed, instead change to a weird unexpected color, such as mustard yellow or beige. All I can say is that you will get similar color results with any of the sulfur-based color removers, regardless of brand or specific chemical.

After removing as much of the dye color as you can, if the dress is lightened enough, you can then start over on redying it to the color you like, using an acid dye for the silk and iDye Poly if you must color the polyester lining. Better to accept the color of the lining if possible, though, because polyester dye requires extended boiling, which is bad for the silk.

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Posted: Tuesday - September 11, 2012 at 07:05 AM          

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