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Unread 10-07-2012, 08:27 AM   #1
char99char
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Aftermath of dyeing silk - can it be fixed?

I dyed some silk fabric - 100% silk - I forget the weave. It has a bit of stiffness and shine to it. I dyed it red using Jacquard dye and vinegar. The color is great but the silk looks crinkled all over now. I think I was a bit harsh stirring it around in the dye bath. Can this be pressed out? Suggestions? I've done some pressing and it still looks a little crinkled - I'm wondering if it will smooth out if I continue or if it's a a lost cause. I know it won't have the sheen / smoothness of the original.

Thanks!

http://www.cosplay.com/photo/3296823/
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Unread 10-07-2012, 09:43 AM   #2
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I would say steam it instead of pressing it, but that's just an educated guess, not a confirmed fix. Your color turned out fantastic
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Unread 10-07-2012, 01:37 PM   #3
char99char
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Thanks for the advice - I'll give it a try.

Thanks for the compliment too! It was my second attempt at dyeing it - which also added to the wear and tear. I bought a 2 ounce bottle of powdered dye. I started to heat water on the stove but didn't have a big enough pot. I also used the recommended 1/4 cup of vinegar per gallon of water. I ended up with a dark pinky shade. The second time - I filled a bucket with near boiling water, the fabric, and added about twice as much vinegar. I let it sit for 30 minutes and stirred it every so often - I could really see the dye was absorbing because the dye bath was getting clearer as time went on. White silk was $20 a yard, red silk was $60 a yard and a bit out of my comfort zone.
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Unread 10-07-2012, 02:04 PM   #4
Evil Bishounen
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I don't think you can get rid of it. The subtle crinkle look seems to be a side effect of pot-dyeing when the fabric just doesn't have enough room to properly swim around.

I've pot-dyed silk many times now using the Jacquard Acid Dyes, and whenever I dye copious yardage, I get that effect too. I dye in a huge tamale pot, the biggest I could find, but when dyeing more than a couple yards the fabric has a tendency to twist on itself and wrap around itself tightly while I stir. The twisting and wrapping is what creates the crinkle look because it traps dye in certain areas, exposing them to a stronger concentration of pigment. When I only dyed smaller pieces, or a yard or two of fabric, the twisting did not happen and I got totally solid, even color.

In my case, the crinkling was a welcome surprise because it made an appropriate visual effect for that specific project. But in other cases, I would have been really bummed out.

However, the crinkling may be subtle enough that it doesn't even show up in photos. I honestly didn't notice it in yours until I really paid attention and looked for it.
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Unread 10-08-2012, 06:29 AM   #5
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Thanks - I looked at the original fabric again and it has some crinkling in the fabric itself so I'm not too far off. There are a couple of spots where I've clearly damaged the weave so I'll just have to cut around those. I think the rest of the costume should come together (Mai Shinurai) and the fabric issues that I see should be unnoticeable as you mentioned.

Lesson learned for the future - I'll need to get a wider, flatter tub for dyeing. I really wanted to do silk for this cosplay instead of the typical satin. The white isn't pure white but it looks white enough next to the red.
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