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Tips & Advice
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There are some golden rules you need to always bear in mind when undertaking a dyeing project.
  1. Always identify the type of fabric before attempting to dye it.
    Why?
    Some fabrics do not dye at all, such as polyester and acrylics (they can only be dyed industrially), while others do not lend themselves to temperature treatment - such as wool. Yet others, such as cotton - polyester blends will only dye up to a point, depending on the proportion of natural fabric.

  2. Dye only one material type at a time.
    Why?
    Because materials dye differently. You will not get the same result on different fabric types because they differ in their affinity for dyes and the temperatures at which they change shade.

  3. Accurately weigh the garment before dyeing.
    Why?
    The shade is determined by the dosage of dye. This in turn means the amount of dye is determined by the weight of fabric the dye is applied to. The more accurately the garment is weighed, the dye is measured out, and the temperature and procedure controlled, the closer the result will be to the desired shade. Best results are always obtained on natural fabrics.

  4. Wash garments before dyeing them - whether used or new.
    Why?
    Clothing contains impurities and dirt. Even new clothes contain sizing and starchy substances that facilitate it's handling and treatment in manufacture. These traces adversely affect dyeing they affect the shade achieved and the levelness of the result.

  5. Heat the dye bath slowly.
    Why?
    A gradual increase in temperature causes a more thorough flow of dye into the fabric. A gradual increase in temperature also permits more time to agitate and stir the fabric, promoting better exposure and more level dyeing. As the temperature rises the pace of dyeing increases.

  6. Always fix in the dye.
    Why?
    The hallmark of an effective dye - given good shading - is it's ability to last and withstand washing. Both colour-fastness and wash-fastness are required to ensure coulours won't fade. So always carefully apply fixative according to the manufacturer's directions and don't shortcut the process.

  7. Meticulously calculate and weigh both fabric and dye before washing machine dyeing.
    Why?
    Dyeing in a washing machine is convenient and quick when you have a lot of material to dye. But it has to be planned. Firstly be aware that non-automatic washing machines (such as twin tubs) do not lend themselves to hot-water dyeing. Use only cold water dyes for this purpose. Hot water dyes can be applied in automatic washing machines that reach in excess of 90 degrees so check your machine first. Secondly bear in mind that the calculation of the dye dosage is key. The normal Lady Dye dosage of 1 pack to 250 grams of dry fabric applies, but automatic washing machines require a minimum of 1 kg of fabric to dye effectively and no more than half the maximum wash load. Effectively this places a minimum of 4 packs of dye (to match the 1 kg minimum dry fabric weight) per load.
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