A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Using Turquoise in LWI dyeing

I experimented with using Turquoise dye powder and the low water immersion method, because Turquoise is the one color that the dye experts tell you has to stay on for 12-24 hours in order to bind to the fabric.  I love using turquoise, and was wondering how it would work to use this method that only requires one hour of batching your fabric.

I dyed four fat quarters using 1/4 cup water and 2 tablespoons of dye concentrate.

Inline image 1

One piece was left in the dye for one hour, the second for 2 hours, the third for 8 hours, and the last for a full 24 hours.

Inline image 2
The value different is subtle, and hard to see in these pictures, but the one-hour piece was almost an icy blue, while the 24-hour piece was a slightly deeper shade of turquoise.  There was hardly any difference between the one-hour and two hour pieces.

So, my conclusion is that if you are using Turquoise in your 1 hour LWI dyeing, you might want to mix up a stronger concentrate so it isn't lost during the washing out part of the process.


  1. The other thing I've always been told is that the temperature is important. When I was doing this for a living I always used to dye loads of turquoise on hot summer days.

    It may also be the case that the chemistry of the dye has changed. Turquoise in the UK is now a much more vibrant colour than it used to be. Prochem would know!

  2. Beth, the difference is not so much in time but in temperature. The turquise molecules are the biggest and the heaviest of all the color molecules and they need heat to move them. which means, LWI works within the temperature range of 21-43 °C/70-110°F. For the turquise the ideal temperature is around 30 °C, 86 °F. the warmer the weather, the better your turquise results will be.

  3. Hi, loving this thread about dyeing! keep it up.
    For some reason the photos on this particular post aren't showing.
    Sandy in the UK

  4. I always mix my Turquoise with more dye powder than say lemon yellow, and my water temp is just a little warmer than straight cold tap water. I have not heard that turquoise has to batch longer than other colors, but agree the room temp needs to be warm. I dye in my house and the room temp is comfortable, plus I have sunshine coming through my window most of the day in the room where I dye.

  5. A lot of good information about the turquoise. And just like Sandy said, I don't see the pictures you have send and think that is a pity...

  6. Actually this is Laura McGath's post. I just scheduled it for her.

  7. No photos - how sad, because it sounds so interesting. I'm learning heaps, thank you!


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