Hand Painting and Direct Application
Download a printable PDF version of these instructions here.
Dharmaset dyes for wool, silk and nylon are intense mixes, for the most part, of 1:2 metal complex acid dyes and reactive dyes. This makes them extremely wash fast with good to excellent light fastness. Even better than our Dharma Acid Dyes, especially on wool. These dyes are an excellent choice for the dyer who requires the most permanent colors for their work. Items dyed or painted with Dharmaset dyes can also be washed in warmer temperatures than items dyed with regular Acid Dyes, without loss of color.
Always do test samples before working on a larger project or anything that it is important you get an exact shade on as results can vary even between different weaves of the same fiber type.
Citric Acid Crystals or white distilled vinegar - #CIT
Synthrapol or Dharma Professional Textile Detergent - #SYN or #PTD
Dye applicators of your choice - examples are:
1. Pre wash the fiber with #PTD or #SYN, if you are not doing a full wash then you can start with the pre-soak. It is best to pre-soak in the Citric Acid Solution for at least 30 minutes. Finer fibers like merino and alpaca may benefit from longer soaking. This solution is very strong because the acid will get diluted as you apply the dye.
Acid Soak Solution-
1 gallon (4 liters) warm water
6 Tbl (105 gm/3 oz) Citric Acid Crystals or 1.25 cups White Vinegar
2 tsp of #PTD or #SYN
Tip: spin out any excess soak solution in a salad spinner or Spin Fryer
Layout your soaked fiber or fabric on a piece of plastic wrap.
2. Mix your dyes while your material is soaking. Measure the desired amount of dye powder, see suggested amounts below. Dissolve the dye powder with 1 cup (250 ml) of hot water. Stir thoroughly and set aside to cool while making the dye bath.
Pale Medium Dark Black
Dye: 1/2 tsp (0.75 gm/.08 oz) 1 tsp (2.5 gm/.17 oz) 2 tsp (5 gm/.33 oz) 4 tsp (10 gm/.67 oz)
NOTE: Pre-mixed or leftover dissolved dye can be stored for up to 6 months.
Apply the dye in with your preferred applicator being sure to saturate the fibers. You can gently push the the dye through the fiber with your hands (gloves!!!) to make sure it goes all the way through and or carefully flip it over and apply the dye to the other side.
Fold the plastic wrap over your fiber length-wise then fold in the ends. If you can, fold everything up a couple times to make a packet that will fit in your pot for steaming.
3. Set the Dye- steam your bundle for 30-45 min. Turn the heat off and let everything cool down to room temperature before removing your bundle. Rinse gently in cool water, wash with Synthrapol or Textile Detergent, and dry according to the material.