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Unread 08-28-2014, 02:51 AM   #1
Eldi
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Cotton/acrylic blend- what dye to use?

I have an ivory sweater which I am trying to dye a dusty pink like Mirai Kuriyama's. The tag says the sweater is 60% cotton, 40% acrylic, and it seems to all be made of the same yarn. I'm wondering if I should use a dye made for cotton/natural fabrics, or one for synthetics, or if I will need to use both. As you can see, the color I'm going for is not very bright/saturated. I imagine I will need to use a blend of colors, but I'm not sure what to use and I can't exactly test it directly since there are no extra parts of the sweater. I'd like to use a fiber-reactive dye (so far I have only used RIT) and I'm not sure how that works for repeatedly re-dyeing.
Thanks for any advice!!

(If it would help I can add a picture of the sweater itself)
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Unread 08-28-2014, 03:09 AM   #2
Evil Bishounen
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Dye type:
For the acrylic content, you're stuck using iDye Poly because it's the only thing that'll dye synthetics.

You could use a fiber reactive dye for the cotton portion and put it through two different dyebaths... Or, alternatively, you mix the iDye Poly with regular iDye (which is meant for cellulose fibers like cotton) and then you only have to put it through one dyebath. In this case, I would do the latter. Merging the two types of iDye will not only make it a hell of a lot easier to match the color, but you reduce the number of dye jobs.

Color:
Your main color will be a pink or magenta. You can mute a pink color by adding either grey or green.

Pink and green are complementary colors, so combining them reduces vibrancy. I have done this kind of dye job myself, specifically using pink and green, so I know it works. I did another dye job that involved using silver grey to mute a turquoise color.

Mix the dye colors in advance, or at least before you add any fabric to the mix. Don't start a pink dyebath, add fabric, and add the other color after the fact - you'll end up getting ugly splotches and the entire thing will be ruined.
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Unread 08-28-2014, 03:27 AM   #3
Eldi
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Thanks, that helps a lot! I had heard of mixing the two types of idye before, but their only pink is much more of a hot pink and I wasn't sure how to get it to the shade I need. Do you have any suggestions for pink-to-green ratio, at least for a starting point?
Also, if I found a yarn or garment with the same fiber content, would I be able to accurately test my dye mixture on it?
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Unread 08-28-2014, 09:58 AM   #4
Evil Bishounen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eldi View Post
Do you have any suggestions for pink-to-green ratio, at least for a starting point?
I honestly didn't record my measurements when I did it. I just eyeballed it using a chart. I have one of these that I refer to when I need to mix, mute, and darken/lighten dye colors:
http://www.dharmatrading.com/tools/c...nav=tools.html

Also, because this sweater looks fairly pale, you may also need to use less dye quantity than normal or pull it out of the dyebath early so the color comes out less intense. I think you need to mute the dye color AND reduce the "take" a little.


Quote:
Also, if I found a yarn or garment with the same fiber content, would I be able to accurately test my dye mixture on it?
Yeah, you should be able to get a pretty good estimate if you can match the base color and the fiber content.

For best accuracy, use measuring cups to keep track of dye proportion and a scale to measure quantity of material.

One warning: as dyeing tends to involve heat, this WILL shrink whatever you dye. The amount of shrink depends on fiber and temperature (and it may have something to do also with the rate at which temperature is applied). You will need to take care with a knitted sweater.

I've dyed long socks before and I noticed that they were a little more snug after dyeing; they ended a few inches lower than they did pre-dye. The content of those socks was cotton/acrylic/spandex, and they were dyed with a fiber reactive dye which, as far as I understand, uses a lower temperature than iDye/iDye Poly. (I've never used anything from the iDye line so I can't give you first-hand anecdotes about that stuff specifically.)

For this reason, it's generally better to dye raw materials rather than finished garments whenever possible.

Also, pre-wash.
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