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Procion MX dye powder
mixed procion mx dye

Choosing the right dyes for tie-dyeing

Fiber reactive dyes are indisputably the best choice for dyeing any cellulose fiber including cotton, rayon, hemp and flax. They're simpler to use, more fade resistant and generally safer than direct dyes, vat dyes, napthol dyes and all purpose dyes (such as Dylon Multi-purpose & RIT®).

Fiber Reactive dyes can also produce exceptional results on silk (when used properly) without the drawbacks of other dyes traditionally used on silk - including acid dyes, natural dyes, Lanaset or Sabraset dyes and vat dyes.

For the home or artisan dyer, it is wise to simply avoid polyester, including blends, and other synthetic fibers like nylon and acrylic because fiber reactive dyes will NOT bond to them.

In short, fiber reactive dyes offer superior ease of use and vivid, permanent colors yet they still clean up easily with water. All while being non-toxic, safe for home use and actually fun to work with.
 

 

procion mx fiber reactive dye
mixing procion mx dye
microwave

So then what is Procion MX dye ?

Procion MX is an old and well known "trade name" used for fiber feactive dye. Procion MX type dyes are commonly sold as a dry powder which you dissolve in water. Technically speaking, Procion MX type dyes are called dichlorotriazine dyes. However, you're more likely to find them marketed under brand names such as Permabril-C and Dylon Cold Dye.

Cibacron F, also called Sabracron F, is a monochlorotriazine fiber reactive dye which can be used interchangeably and mixed with Procion MX (dichhlorotriazine) type dyes. When searching for Cibacron F or Sabracron F, be sure there is an "F" - you do not want plain Cibacron .

Drimarene K dye, also marketed as Dylon Permanent and Dylon Machine Dye, will work as long as you heat the project in a microwave after the dye has been applied. Drimarene K (chlorodiflouropyrimidine) type dyes simply require higher temperatures to react than Procion MX and other similar fiber reactive dyes.

Fiber reactive dyes which are generally less ideally suited to tie-dyeing include Remazol (vinyl sulfone dyes) and Procion H. While these dyes can be used as a last resort, they do require additional heat and in some cases a slightly different reaction process.

 

Procion dye colors
color wheel

What colors should you get ?

When it comes to Procion MX type dyes, almost any color can be created by mixing various solutions of:

  • Yellow MX-8G
  • Fuchsia Red MX-8B
  • Cobalt Blue MX-2G
  • Turquoise MX-G
  • Black MX-CWNA (or whichever Black your dye supplier says is the darkest).
This way you don't have to invest in as many individual colors of powdered dye as you would if you were to buy a selection of powdered oranges, greens and purples etc.

Many dye suppliers offer discounts when you order larger quantities of a single color, which is one way to stretch your dye budget.

You can always add a few shades of powdered dyes to your pallet later on, once you've discovered what you can do with the basic primaries.
 

tie dye instructions
 

Where do you go from here ?

When it comes to getting consistent, professional quality results - nothing is more valuable than a good, complete working knowledge of the ins and outs of the dyeing process.

  • Learn how-to tie dye in step by step detail.
  • Obtain your supplies.
  • Transform your powdered dye and fabric into authentic, world class tie-dye.

It's that easy to put your imagination on fabric!







 



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