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Dyes To Use On Silk, Wool, & Nylon 
Here are all of the dyes we carry that work on silk, wool, and nylon. The first dyes listed are the most concentrated, economical dyes when used to dye a solid color in a dye bath. The bottom half or so of the page lists dyes that are less concentrated and specifically developed for the Serti or watercolor techniques of painting on silk, and can also be used for warp painting on wool, etc. While a couple of the dyes, Tinfix and Jacquard Green Label, can be used with a chemical fixative, the rest (and for the best results and most vibrant colors for those two) have to be made permanent with heat, either by simmering on the stove for dye baths or steaming for painting, shibori and other techniques. Fiber Reactive dye is used more often for batik, as it can be used in cooler water, but read about using it on silk - there are some drawbacks and complications. Most of these dyes can be used like a paint, even the "tub dyeing" ones, for watercolor effects, or thickened for other techniques. Painting with dyes is more involved than just using one of our fabric paints, but is very popular for silk, especially, because dyes leave no "hand" on the fabric, i.e. it will not stiffen it the way paints do.
Dharma Acid Dyes

Pros: Acid Dyes are the dye of choice for solid color dyeing of silks, wools, alpaca, mohair , feathers and other protein fibers, as well as Nylon. Some folks even use them on leather, but test! Excellent prices, bulk pricing, handy 2oz size. 82 beautiful, vibrant, and some very hard to get colors! Can be painted on as well.

Cons: Needs hot, almost simmering, water to use or needs to be steamed. Some colors take more advanced dyeing technique.

Jacquard Acid Dyes

Pros: Acid Dyes are the dye of choice for solid color dyeing of silks, wools and other proteins. Economical. Beautiful vibrant colors! Can be painted on as well.
Cons: Needs hot simmering water to use or needs to be steamed. No size in between 1/2 oz and 8 oz.

Dharma Lanaset Dyes

Pros: Lanaset Dyes are more permanent than regular Acid Dyes, wash fast even in hot water, and completely intermixable to your heart's content to get any color or shade you want. They are a very concentrated mix of 1:2 metal complex, acid and reactive dyes with high wet and light fastness. Can be painted on as well.

Cons: A few of the colors are very expensive. They also are a bit harder to use than the Leveling or Milling class Acid dyes. Once the dyebath reaches the high temperature needed for fixing, they tend to strike FAST! 

Vinyl Sulphon Liquid Reactive Dye Concentrate

Pros: Quite economical for the production artist. Two ounces of concentrate can yield up to 40 ounces of medium shade dye/paint.
Cons: Must be steam set or used in a hot dye bath for best results; cannot be fixed with Jacquard Dyeset Concentrate.

Super Fast Acid Dye for Wool

Pros: Super wash fast and light fast color on wools, silks and nylons. Great for production dyeing.

Cons: A little more work for even colors. Needs hot, almost boiling, water to use or needs to be steamed.

iDye for Natural and Poly Fabrics

Pros: Quick, easy, economical for small dye jobs, don't have to buy extra chemicals, don't have to handle powders, behaves like Deka L, additional 8 colors for Polyester and nylon! Results are even and not streaky.
Cons: Needs hot water, less brilliant and long lasting, may fade more than "professional" dyes, less color selection.

Dharma Fiber Reactive Procion Dyes

Pros: Best dye for cotton, rayons, linens, hemp and other plant based fibers. Best dye for Tie-Dye and Batik. Vibrant wash fast permanent colors. Easy to use. Does not need hot water. Economical!
Cons: With silks and wools, colors are still vibrant, but shift. Need to use with the proper chemicals. Do not work on synthetics.

Natural Dyes (from plants and insects)

Pros: Historically fascinating to use dyes that have been in use for 100s to 1000s of years!

Cons: Fabrics or fibers have to be treated in a mordant before dyeing. Some of the metallic salts used to "mordant" (prepare for dyeing) the fabrics before dyeing are fairly toxic. We don't carry the worst ones.

Pre-Reduced Indigo Crystals

Pros: Easier and faster to get into solution and use than natural or synthetic Indigo.

Cons: Still have to use chemicals with it to make it work. Indigo can "crock" or rub off on you and your laundry unless you use Dharma Dye Fixative or Retayne as an extra last step before washing thoroughly with Synthrapol and Hot water to get off the loose dye.

Natural Dye Powdered Extracts

Pros: Suitable for all natural fibers including wool, silk, cotton, bamboo and Tencel. Colors are non-toxic, aromatic, rich and earthy. Dye Powder Extracts are concentrated and more expensive. All the dyes may be mixed to create new shades.
Cons: Not for synthetic fibers such as polyester. Fibers should be pre-mordanted for best results. Careful dyeing prevents fading and color running.

Natural Dye Liquid Extracts

Pros: Suitable for all natural fibers including wool, silk, cotton, bamboo and Tencel. Colors are non-toxic, aromatic, rich and earthy. Dye Liquid Extracts are easy to use, cost less and yield slightly lighter and brighter results. All the dyes may be mixed to create new shades.
Cons::Not for synthetic fibers such as polyester. Fibers should be pre-mordanted for best results. Careful dyeing prevents fading and color running.

Sennelier Tinfix Design Silk Dye

Pros: Brilliant, intense, rich dye colors. Can be diluted or used right out of the bottle. Nice color range, intermixable to form new colors. The only professional quality silk dye that can be either steamed or fixed with a fixative.
Cons: Couldn't think of any.

Jacquard Silk Colors (Green Label)

Pros: Economical liquid dye for silk painting. Diluting not required. Can be used with its own fixative or can be steam set, making it great for beginners.
Cons: Limited color palatte, colors less intense than French dyes, i.e. not a concentrate. Fixative does not result in as brilliant a color as steam setting.

Dupont Silk Dyes - French Silk Dyes

Pros: Luminous, intense, rich dye colors. Very concentrated. Huge color range, intermixable to form new colors. Dyes
Cons: must be steam set, cannot use a fixative

Colorhue Instant-Set Silk Dyes

Pros: quick, easy, no powders, no chemicals, no heat, great for beginners, infinitely mixable, did we mention quick?
Cons: not able to get dark vivid colors; better for medium and light shades, small color selection, black is maroony eggplant

Jacquard Silk Colors (Red Label)

Pros: Economical concentrated liquid dye for silk painting. Brilliant deep colors. As good as French dyes, for less money!
Cons: Limited color palette. Must be steamset!

Dharma Pigment Dye

Pros: It's a concentrated (so economical after dilution) pigment system that feels like dye instead of paint, is easy to use for all kinds of techniques, is concentrated, non-toxic and works on most synthetics as well as natural fibers
Cons: Limited color selection, colors fade with washing the first time (typical of "dyeing" with pigments) - you have to like the unique "stonewashed" look

Jacquard SolarFast

Pros: Has so many uses! Photograms, Painting, Tie dyeing, Screen printing, Sun Printing, Stamping and Batik.
Cons: Not available in larger sizes, not meant for large dyeing projects, light sensitive.


Pros: When exposed to heat or sunlight reveals bright, beautiful colors on cotton, rayon, linen and silk; Very permanent!
Cons: Cannot see what colors they are until developed by heat/sunlight

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You can combine cotton and rayon clothing & accessories to get the greatest discounts. Your discount is figured on the total number of cotton and rayon items we ship, not how many of each type, style or size. Mix and match them to get the best discount.

Example; adding 1 each of 12 different T-shirts in size Large should give you the 12+ price on all 12 shirts.

Example; adding 12 pieces of 4 different sizes of a garment should give you the 36+ price on all 4 sizes.

Some products may be excluded from discounts, and / or may discount only with themselves. If you have any questions at all please contact us toll free at 800-542-5227 (no buttons, just humans).

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