Acid dyes are made for dyeing wool, silk and nylon These powdered dyes are intended for tub-dyeing yardage, yarns or clothing. You can use these dyes either on top of your stove or in a washing machine but they do require very hot water to work properly. Washing machines don't get as hot, but do maintain consistent time, temperature and agitation, yielding more consistent results. The only other thing needed is household white vinegar or a mild powdered acid like Citric which is actually more economical and eliminates the Vinegar smell. Acid dyes are very economical, as they react fast, they exhaust well and the results are very permanent - light and wash fast! For tub dyeing wool, silk and nylon solid colors, this is the best dye. The end color depends on your temperature, how much dye you use, how long the fabric is in the dye, and how much fabric you have. Jacquard acid dye is non-toxic when handled properly.
If you have any problems after following the instructions, we have a "Dissolving and Trouble Shooting" segment we have written for you after much research. And as with all dye powders, you should handle them carefully. Common sense and good housekeeping (dust mask, gloves, proper ventilation, etc.) should always be used when handling any dye or chemicals. Keep out of reach of children and pets.
Immersion Dyeing in a Washing Machine with Jacquard Acid Dyes
(Not for wool. Wool will felt in a washing machine. Use the stove top method for wool.)
These directions are for top loading washing machines only.
Set the washing machine to the hottest wash/cool rinse and longest wash cycle. Some folks say to turn your hot water heater to its highest setting first and let it heat up, especially when you are going for black and other dark colors, or they add some boiling water to increase the temperature. CAUTION - if you turn up your water heater, warn your family and don't forget to turn it back down after your dyebath!!! Fill water to the lowest level appropriate for the amount of fabric being dyed.
Get fabric wet then pull out and set aside.
Add dye powder and agitate until dissolved. See chart below.
Add clean wet fiber and agitate for a few minutes.
Add one cup of vinegar being careful not to pour directly onto fabric. Or add 1 Tbs. of Citric Acid per lb of dry fabric if you don't like the smell of vinegar. Let agitate a few more minutes.
Let machine run through cycle OR for maximum washfastness, stop and reset washer to maximum cycle length. Do not let the washing machine drain or start a new wash cycle. You just want to lengthen the time the fabric is in the dyebath. After resetting, let washer run through cycle.
Remove fabric from washing machine. To ensure that all of the excess dye has been removed, you may want to run the fabric through another wash cycle with cool water and some Synthrapol or Professional Textile Detergent.
Run washer through a large rinse cycle to remove any excess dye in the washing machine.
Stove Top Immersion Dyeing with Jacquard Acid Dyes
Fill a stainless steel or enamel pot with just enough hot or warm water for the fabric to swim freely, turn on the heat.
Add the dye powder to the pot and stir. Normally, in this procedure you would add 2 to 4% of the dry weight of the fabric in dye powder. For example, if you are dyeing 1 pound of fabric, use 1/3 to 2/3 of an ounce of dye.
Add the fabric that has been thoroughly wetted to the dyepot.
Raise the temperature to 185 to 200 degrees, just below boiling. Stir frequently.
Add ¼ cup of vinegar per pound of fabric. Try not to pour directly onto the fabric. Or add 1 Tbs. of Citric Acid per lb of dry fabric if you don't like the smell of vinegar.
Note: If you are dyeing wool, a gradual heating and gradual cooling of the dyebath is important so as not to shock and felt the wool.
Silk Painting with Jacquard Acid Dyes
For professional silk painters who steam set, liquid acid dyes provide the brightest, most intense colors. To make your own liquid acid dyes for silk painting, use the following recipe:
Add 8 oz. (1 cup) of very hot water to one .5 oz. jar of Jacquard Acid Dye powder.
Stir until dissolved. This will yield a very concentrated dye stock solution. Most colors require further dilution. Note: Every color has a different solubility. Some colors are difficult to dissolve, but most are easily dissolved. A small amount of alcohol (about 1 tablespoon) can be added to the dye solution as a wetting agent.
The final concentration of the dye solution for painting should be between 4 and 8%. Start by adding 4 oz. (1/2 cup) of water to the 8 ounces of stock solution you have, test the color and continue adding water until desired shade is achieved.
Keep in mind that the color intensity really develops in the steam setting process. Most colors will remain stable in solution for a long period of time. However, some colors will fall out of solution or gel upon cooling or from sitting for a matter of weeks. To restore them simply heat them on the stove.
Dharma Pro-Tip!: To improve color and colorfastness, before you begin painting, add 1 tsp of vinegar per cup of final dye solution.
Screen Printing, Stamping & Painting with Jacquard Acid Dyes
The traditional method of printing with dye is to add the dye to a thickener paste. This method can be used for screen printing, hand-painting, and stamping and many other direct application techniques. It is important to prepare the fiber by washing to remove the sizing.
Wash, dry and iron the fabric.
Prepare dye thickener paste (see below).
Add dye, either powder or stock solution, to thickener. Proportion the dye in the container in relation to the amount of thickener paste and desired intensity. See Pro-Tip above.
Print, paint, or stamp on fabric.
Air dry. Steam set. (See Steam setting directions.)
Preparing Dye Thickener
When screen printing with dye thickened with sodium alginate, the print base should be as thin as the image will allow. Dye printed in too thick a base will halo from the image before the fabric is cured or will accumulate in the corners, altering the image. Sodium Alginate SH is a high viscosity, low solids type of alginate thickener used primarily for cotton and other cellulose fibers. It may also be used for silk when fine line definition is not required. Sodium Alginate F is a low viscosity, high solids alginate used for silks and synthetics when fine line definition is desired. Use about 2 1/2 times more of the F to equal the viscosity of SH.
Mix chemical water by adding ¼ cup of urea and 1 Tablespoon of vinegar to 1 quart of water.
Sprinkle sodium alginate over water and stir constantly for 10 minutes, OR mix in blender.
Let stand for a few hours or overnight before using. Mixture may be stored in refrigerator for many months.
This product consistently works well and is easy to get good results with. With Nylon, as with all fabrics, you must be sure there is no surface treatment that will interfere with the dye bonding with the fabric, i.e.: water repellents, stain resistance.
Dye Quantities Chart
The quantities listed are for the deepest color saturation in one pound of fabric. For pastels and lighter colors, use less dye.
.25 TO .5 ounces
.5 TO 1.5 ounces
1.5 to 2 ounces
up to 3 ounces
604 Burnt Orange
606 Deep Orange
618 Fire Red
601 Yellow Sun
602 Bright Yellow
620 Hot Fuchsia
626 Navy Blue
603 Golden Yellow
627 Kelly Green
605 Pumpkin Orange
633 Aztec Gold
636 Gold Ochre
638 Silver Grey
617 Cherry Red
621 Sky Blue
622 Sapphire Blue
623 Brilliant Blue
625 Royal Blue
637 Gun Metal
Jacquard Acid Dye Properties
For wash & light fastness higher numbers are better.