Black Dyes We currently have 5 black Fiber Reactive dyes, each with a different color cast. (A true black is the hardest color to get with Fiber Reactive dyes.) Three of them work well in direct application methods like tie-dye and batik where the temperatures used are cooler but the fabric is kept moist long enough for the dye to develop full depth. You will see, however, some differences depending upon which one you use and your particular situation and techniques. All five can be used for tub-dyeing (when you are dyeing a solid color shade) and here there are also some differences:
#39 Black - Tub dyes with a green cast and edges are blue/green in tie-dye.
#44 Better Black - our most popular black. Tub dyes with a purple-blue cast and edges are blue in tie-dye.
#250 Jet Black -This is the most concentrated of all the blacks and gives the deepest black when used in tub (vat, bucket, washing machine, etc.) dyeing with hot tap water (130-150°F degrees). Can be olive green or gray when used for direct application methods (tie-dye, batik, painting, etc) unless kept very warm somehow, and edges are green in tie-dye. As of 2/1/13 we have about 300 lbs of this color left. We have to discontinue it when it is gone because the cost of the raw materials has almost doubled.
#275 Hot Black - NEW! - Also best tub dyed in hot (130° to 150°F) water, like the #250, which it is replacing. Tub dyes with a very neutral deep black cast on cotton. With Soda Ash on silk is a deep blackish brown, with vinegar on silk, came out black in our tests and a less deep shade of black on wool. Tie-dye came out really black in warm ambient room temp of 75°F or more! (unlike #250, which it is replacing). We are very excited about this black! Try it!
#300 New Black - Tub dyes with a very blue cast and edges are blue/pink in tie-dye.
Since black is a tough color to get, you have to use a lot of dye and in tub dyeing, you need to use 1.5 to 2 times as much salt. Some of our customers have even recommended a 1/2 and 1/2 combination of #44 and #300 for the blackest black in tie dye and batik. We got a mean black tie-dye with our new Hot Black! In tub dyeing, to make the blacks even darker, and the washout less, we also recommend adding the extra step of soaking the finished dyed garment in Dharma Dye Fixative or Retayne. (This also helps when you want darker purples, browns, blues etc.!) When the dyebath is done, drain it but don't rinse the garments/fabric. Fill tub back up with hot water and the fixative, 1 oz per lb of fabric, so 8 oz for a full washing machine load. Soak it in that, agitating occasionally, for 30 minutes, then rinse and wash in HOT water and Synthrapol as usual. Sometimes it is necessary to wash black items twice.
For re-blacking black clothes and jeans that have faded, you can get away with a lot less dye. (4 to 8 oz per machine load, depending on how badly faded - instead of a pound!) To make it worth while, gather up enough faded black stuff so you can just do a whole washing machine load (about 8 lbs. of fabric) and follow our basic tub dying directions.