Did Lanaset once make a fuschia dye? Is there a replacement?

Name: Jan

Message: I am trying to replicate a dye sample from several years ago. The formula is for 50% turquoise and 50% fuschia. Lanaset dyes were used. Did Lanaset once make a fuschia dye? Is there a replacement?


Linda Knutson's
Synthetic Dyes for Natural Fibers

I don't think your fuchsia dye has recently disappeared. My 1986 copy of Linda Knutson's Synthetic Dyes for Natural Fibers says, in the appendix describing Lanaset dyes, "There is no bright blue red (magenta) available in this series, although it is possible to use a magenta dye from the weak acid dyes (milling dyes) in combination with the dyes in this series." Knutson says that the Lanaset dyes first became available to home dyers in mid 1985. I think that your fuchsia was from another class of acid dyes.


It is common to combine the use of Lanaset dyes with a fuchsia dye from another line of dyes. Karren Brito is one of the authors who recommend using Polar Red, which is not a Lanaset dye, in combination with the Lanaset dyes. She describes this use in her book, Shibori: Creating Color & Texture On Silk. She writes that it is less stable than the Lanasets, so use with care. She processes it for longer, lets fabrics dyed with it air-dry for 24 hours before washing, and treats fabrics dyed with it more gently. It discharges very quickly to near white, she says.


The practice of combining Polar Red with the Lanasets is so common that PRO Chemical & Dye lists Polar Red for sale on the same page as their Sabraset (Lanaset) dyes. 

Polar Red has the generic name of Colour Index Acid Red 131. Without the generic name, it is impossible to keep its commercial names straight, if you buy from a company that is not as customer-friendly as ProChem. Karren Brito mentions buying it under the brand name of Ricoamide Brilliant Red 3BN 140%. Other more industry-oriented firms sell this dye under a number of different brand names, including Ricoacid Red 3BNS, Orco Milling Brilliant Red 3NRE, Nylon Brilliant Red C3B (concentrated), and Nylanthrene Brilliant Red C-3B (concentrated), Permalon Red 3BN, and Permalon Red C3B. It's a fine example of why we need generic names for dyes.

Deb Menz, author of Color In Spinning and other books on mixing colors with Lanaset dyes, uses Acid Red 138 (ProChem's Washfast Acid Magenta 338) rather than Acid Red 131 (Polar Red); she sells the Lanaset dyes plus WashFast Acid 338 on her website. Another source, Sheep Hollow Farm and Fiber, specifically lists four non-Lanaset dyes as working well with the Lanasets. All are possible substitutes for the fuchsia which does not exist in the Lanaset line. Their supplier is PRO Chemical & Dye, so the following are ProChem's names, with Sheep Hollow's descriptions; I've added the generic names as listed in the Colour Index:

namecolorgeneric name 
Polar Red       very bright bluish red     Acid Red 131     
Pro WashFast Acid Bright Red 351   clear fire-engine red   Acid Red 151
Pro WashFast Acid Magenta 338   makes good pinks   Acid Red 138
Pro WashFast Acid Rhodamine 370  hot, day-glow pink   Acid red 52
Red dyes recommended by Sheep Hollow Farm and Fiber for use with Lanaset Dyes.

Also see Which washfast acid dye colors are pure, rather than mixtures? for more information on these Washfast Acid dyes.

There is also a dye in the Lanaset line which is described as magenta, Lanaset Bordeaux B, but it is actually a dull wine red, not at all useful for mixing bright colors.

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Posted: Monday - January 14, 2008 at 12:21 PM          

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