What are the pros and cons of Drimarene K dye versus Procion MX dye?

I just wrote this on the iTieDye forum, then edited here for added clarity, answering the question,


Procion mx fiber reactive cold water dye

Procion MX Dye

ideal for cotton, rayon, linen, and silk

When mixed with soda ash, Procion dyes are permanent, colorfast, and very washable.


Dylon permanent fabric dye 1.75 oz black/velvet black

Dylon Permanent Fabric Dye

Dylon Permanent Fabric Dye contains mostly Drimarine K dyes, except for the black which is a Remazol dye.


What are the pros and cons of Drimarene K dye versus Procion MX dye?

The pros and cons are mostly the same. Both are fiber reactive dyes, both are very colorfast, both are easy to use, both are pretty much non-toxic but can induce bad allergies if you breathe them, both are commonly used by home dyers. (In Australia, dye suppliers such as Kraftkolour and Batik Oetoro sell Drimarene K powder, just like Procion MX powder. In the US and Europe, Drimerene K dyes for hand dyers are mostly found pre-mixed with auxiliary chemicals, in Dylon Permanent and Dylon Machine and Dylon Hand Dye, and possibly also the new line called Tulip Permanent.)

Drimarene K requires a little more warmth in tie-dyeing, typically 40°C instead of the 30°C that's good for Procion MX. If your temperatures are too low, wrap the items individually in plastic wrap then take them into a warm place, or see other ideas on my page, What is the effect of temperature on fiber reactive dyes?. For immersion dyeing, the manufacturer recommends temperatures of 60°C to 80°C (that's 140°F to 176°F), but you can use lower temperatures as long as you allow enough extra time, and don't let it get too cool. If your colors come out paler than you expect, blame the temperature first.

The biggest advantage of Procion dyes, if you can mail-order them from the right companies in the US, is cost. Here in the US we can buy enough Procion MX dye to color a pound of fiber to a medium shade for as little as 40 cents, American. (There are also places in the US that charge far more per gram of dye, especially for smaller jars.) Costs in Australia are considerably higher; the cheapest Procion MX in Australia I can find is over three times the cost, after correcting for currency. Drimerene K is another 50% higher, so Procion MX is still a little more economical than Drimarene K, even with Australian sources. See my chart of a comparison of dye costs.

Drimarene K dye might be a little easier to wash out after dyeing, to get out the excess unattached dye, than Procion MX is. Might not require as much water. For either Procion MX or Drimarene K, boiling water is far more efficient for this purpose than warm water, especially if you soak in an insulated container to keep the water hot longer. Start with cool water to remove the auxiliary chemicals, before using hot water for washing out.

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Posted: Friday - January 22, 2010 at 08:35 AM          

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