All are liquids (except the Acid dye at the bottom). All work well and have devoted fan clubs. Different strokes for different folks!
Type 1. Dyes that must be fixed (set) using steam. These give the brightest, most vivid and most washfast results. They leave no "feel" on the silk, (you don't feel anything different where the dye is). Most are French and contain some alcohol. Dupont, Tinfix Design, and Pebeo Silk are examples.
Type 2. Dyes that can be fixed using a liquid fixative, either by dipping the painted silk into the fixative or brushing the fixative onto the silk. Colors are not quite as bright as Type 1 and perhaps not as washfast. These can also be steam set and then are almost as bright & washfast as those above. They also leave no "feel" on the silk. Jacquard and Tinfix Design are examples.
Type 3. Paints that are very thin, almost like dyes. They are fixed by ironing with a hot iron. Waterbased and very easy to work with. Colors may not be as bright as either of the above. They leave some "feel" on the silk. Dyna-flow, Setasilk, and Marabu Silk are examples.
Type 4. Instant-Set Pigment Silk Dye. Just dilute, paint on and air dry for 12-24 hours. No fixatives or steaming required, and very minimal heatsetting! Like a hybrid between a dye and a paint. Leaves an almost undetectable feel on the silk, and colors are brighter and more concentrated than Type 3 paints, but there is some washout, as with dyes.
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