Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dye solutions and 'make life easier' calculations

A new blogpost from Nienke:

My calculations of 'how much dye is needed for this piece of fabric' were a bit confusing, at least to some of you. So, let's make my steps clear in a blogpost. (And let's make sure, this is not what Ann Johnston is teaching, it's just the way I prefer to do it, because it makes life easier. This way of thinking and calculating was a result due to the high cotton and dye prices in Europe, and also, not wanting to waste any dyes for environmental reasons).

First of all, I make all colours in the same concentrate, 10%. That is, 10 grams of Procion MX powder to 100 ml. of water (1 deciliter). If they are all the same, my brains don't have to think that much, if I find a bottle in my cupboard. It's always 10%.

To avoid messing around with dye powders, I use those juice bottles with a big opening. Put them on my scale and press Tare, so it resets to zero even with an empty bottle on top of it.


I add 10 grams of powder,


and 100 ml. of water


and a drop of dishwasher for better dissolving of the powder.


Tighten the lid firmly and then I start shaking.
Can't make it easier then this. I even forgot to wear my gloves and actually, if I am careful, I don't need them.

NB for this special project, I mixed on forehand Orange: 7 grams of Yellow MX-3R with 3 grams of Red MX 8B with 100 ml. of water. And for the blue: Turquoixe Blue MX G 9 grams with 2 grams of a black without a name ;-) with 110 ml. of water.

So now that I have my 10% solution premixed ready, I start calculating how much solution I need for a full colour. I know from experience that I need  20 ml. of a 10% solution for a FatQuarter of cotton fabric (each quality). I roughly estimated that this piece was 4,5 FQ's so I needed a total of 90 ml. dyesolution.
I divided the total amount in two colours, 45 ml. of an orange, 45 ml. of a blue.



And the good thing about this way of calculating is that you can remake your unique pieces, look at this picture, one day later, same amount of dye, same tray. I only was too impatient I guess or I didn't press the same time, the piece at the left hand is the newer piece. But you can see that I am pretty close to the original.





Just to give you an idea, these are the tools I use for measuring: these spoons are sold by worldwide known IKEA: http://www.ikea.com/be/nl/catalog/products/10233259/

It says 15 ml = one tablespoon. 5 ml = one teaspoon.
So talking in spoons, you would need one tablespoon and one teaspoon for one Fat Quarter (for a full colour, no gradation)

They are really great to use and very well priced, see if you can get them if you are interested in this way of calculating dyes!!




7 comments:

  1. Yes, I was going to say that I can do 10%. So there is some hope of my remembering it without constantly looking at a paper with numbers on it.
    Sandy in the UK

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  2. It is that easy! But how did you pour the dye in the tray, Nienke?

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  3. Thank goodness Ann gives measurements in cups and tablespoons and yards, too!

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  4. Beautiful fabrics! I am enjoying your posts. Thank you.

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  5. Here is a link to a great paper online (not mine - for students) It looks confusing, but when you are dyeing, if I want the same color on a silk that I had on cotton duck cloth, the weight of the fabric (WOF) figures into the equation. There are also some experiments in the paper you can use:

    https://kcaifiber.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/percentage-dyeing.pdf

    Johanna in WI

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  6. For those of you in the US, two tablespoons is roughly 1/10 of a cup (it's actually 1.6, but I rounded up to make life even easier) :).

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