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Glossary Definitions for Words beginning with "A"

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A.B.I.
Short for Air Brush Ink. These are rich pigments, thinned and ready to spray. They should be smooth flowing with great color intensity.
Abrasion Resistance
A Fabric's ability to withstand wear and rubbing.
Acetate
A man-made cellulose fabric similar to Rayon used in linings and some dressy tops. Some Acetate can be dyed with Procion MX Dyes.
Acetic Acid
Liquid acid that is eleven times stronger than vinegar. Used by some companies and artists for dyeing wool, silk, nylon, hair, and other items of protein origin.
Acid Dyes
Acid dyes are made for dyeing wool, silk, nylon, and other protein fibres. These powdered dyes are intended for vat-dyeing yardage, yarns or clothing. They can also be used for painting but they're not our first choice. If you intend to paint on silk or wool they have to be steamed. You can use these dyes on top of your stove or in a washing machine but they do require very hot water to work properly. The only other thing needed is a little white vinegar, citric acid or acetic acid. Acid Dyes are very economical as they react fast and they exhaust well. The results are permanent, light and wash fast.
Acid Free
Anything having a pH neutral level of 7.
Acid / Acidic
Anything having a pH balance below 7.
Acrylic
A versatile thermoplastic that emerged in the late 1950's. It is used as a heat set paint medium as in Fabric Paints and Inks. Also it is used to make soft and durable fibers used for yarns, velvets and carpeting.
Activator
A substance that is used in a dye bath to fix the dye. It changes the PH of a dye bath to enable the necessary chemical reaction. Examples are: the use of Soda Ash with fiber reactive dyes on cellulose fibers: or using white vinegar, citric acid or acetic acid in a hot bath with Acid Dyes on protein fibers. Also referred to as an "assistant".
ACT
Association for Contract Textiles. An association of textile companies who design, manufacture and sell textiles for interior design.
Additives
Any one of a number of special chemicals added to a product to bring about special effects. Examples are: driers, anti-setting agents, and coloring.
Adhesion
Adhesion happens when paint attaches by drying and remains fixed on the surface without blistering, flaking, cracking or being removed by tape. Proper adhesion with fabric paints is achieved by heat fixing or addition of a "No Heat Fixative".
Aerosol
A product that uses compressed gas to spray a product from its container into the air. Historical Note: Aerosol paint products have not contained chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs that destroy the O-zone layer) since 1978.
Afterfix
Quick and easy way for painting with Procion dyes. Mix the dye with water, a little thickener and paint it on fabric, When it’s dry, cover the painted area with Dharma’s Afterfix by painting it or spraying it with a Mist Sprayer to lightly saturate-damp but not dripping! After an hour, wash out the Afterfix and excess dye. Warning – it can be very difficult to remove Afterfix from anything once it dries. Best for very small projects.
Air Brush
An atomizer for applying paint, ink or dye, it uses compressed air to spray a fine mist of product.
Alginate
A seaweed derivative used as an anti-migrant. High-viscosity alginates are normally recommended for cottons; low-viscosity alginates are recommended for silk fibers, when trying to achieve finer lines.
Alcohol
A colorless, volatile, flammable liquid that is the intoxicating agent in fermented and distilled liquors. In silk painting it is mixed with distilled water to dilute dyes, blending colors on the silk and to correct mistakes.
Alkali / Alkaline
Anything having a pH balance above 7
All Purpose Dye
Certain Dyes for multipurpose uses and on various fibers. Also known as Union Dye.
Alum
Often used as a mordant when marbling to make the paint stick to the fabric or paper. Also used as a mordant for Natural dyes. Ours is a salt of aluminum known as aluminum sulfate.
Ammonia
A pungent, colorless, water soluble alkaline compound used to make household ammonia which is used for: a color modifier for Natural Dyes; also with Methyl Cellulose to make size for floating colors in Marbling.
Ammonium Sulfate
Another type of Alum- we carry aluminum sulfate..
Analogous colors
Three to five neighboring hues on the color wheel. Example: yellow, yellow green, green, blue green.
Aniline Dye
Synthetic organic dyes derived from coal tar. Can be quite garish and having poor light- and wash-fastness.
Anti-chlor
Compound made from Sodium Bisulfate or Sodium Thiosulfate used to neutralize chlorine after removing color with hypochlorite bleach.
Anti-Fusant
No-Flow, Stop-Flow, Anti-Diffusant and Anti-Fusant are all different names for this. It is painted onto the silk before painting dye or thin paints. It keeps the dye from spreading when it touches the silk. Some work with paints, some with dyes.
Anti-Microbial Treatment
An anti-bacterial finish for fabrics, that guards against mold and fungus.
Anti-Migrant
A substance added to a dye to slow down its ability to spread or bleed into a fabric as it is applied. Some examples are Sodium Alginate and Superclear.
Anti-Skinning Agents
These are chemicals added to paint that help prevent the formation of a surface film.
Anti-Spread
A transparent liquid that is painted over an entire area of fabric prior to dyeing to cut down the absorbency of the fibers, thereby preventing the dye from spreading like anti-fusants. There are many different versions of this, such as Inko Resist, Presist, No-Flow Primer, and Gutta thinned with Gutta Solvent or turpenol.
Applique
An image or design that is cut out and either glued, sewn or embellished to the surface of a larger item.
Assistant
Also called "activator" this is an assistant in dyeing which aids in the bonding of the dye to the fiber, such as an acid with acid dyes, or an alkali with Fiber Reactives.
Auxiliary
A term for products used to assist the dyeing process.
Azoic Dye
Not truly ‘dyes’ these are really a duo component system that create color on cellulose fibers.

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