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#1 of 4 Old 08-14-2006, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
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I want to tie dye some shirts, and have heard a lot about needing to use soda ash so that the dye doesn't run when they're washed. I have rit dye (powder) and it just says to add salt. And someone else told me to wash the shirts in vinegar to stop them from running. Does the salt or vinegar take the place of the soda ash? Is the soda ash really necessary? Where do I buy soda ash anyway?

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#2 of 4 Old 08-14-2006, 04:55 PM
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First things first, toss the RIT in the garbage. The money you paid for it is not worth the grief you will get from it. It is an all-purpose dye that dyes all-purposefully terrible(well, maybe except for nylon and FOE so I've heard).

You are seeing soda ash(sodium carbonate) recommended in relation to use with Procion MX dyes wh/ are fiber reactive dyes. These are a class of dyes that dye natural fibers, cotton in particular, especially well. They work by bonding on a molecular level with the celulose molecules in cotton(proteins in silk and wool). So they actually become part of the fiber itself. Soda ash acts as the catalyst that allows this reaction to occur. Without it, the dye won't bond with the fiber.

You can buy soda ash online or find it where pool supplies are sold. Ph Up is 100% sodium carbonate

Vinegar or other acid is used with protien fibers(wool and silk) and nylon when using a class of dyes called acid dyes.

Salt does nothing to "fix" dyes to any fiber. Though it does aide the dye process when you have a high water to dye ratio i.e. vat/bucket dyeing.

And I am not joking about tossing the RIT in the trash. Nothing will fix it or keep it from washing out little by little. Its not worth the hassle.

Follow the link in my siggie to the Tie-dye forum. There's lotsd of info about tie-dyeing and dyeing in general. There is also a tie-dye wikipedia(an online encyclopedia of dyeing) linked to the forum.


Desert Dyeworks Hey, we like color and silk!
Check out our 10% multiple items discount!
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#3 of 4 Old 08-20-2006, 02:09 PM
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I agree that RIT dyes are not good for much of anything. They will wash out, fade, just look kinda blah after a while.

In addition to the above poster, I would recommend check out www.dharmatrading.com (I think that's the Dharma Trading Company's website) they have wonderful dyes, soda ash fixer, even step by step ordering instructions and beginner kits for tye dye, lots of good info and great supplies at reasonable prices. You can also get some decent non-rit dyes and chemicals at craft stores (I find them at my local AC Moore craft store, probably Michael's carries them too, and it's not too hard to find a 40% off coupon for either store).

Good luck, and have FUN!

Mom of (11/27/03) and (9/29/06).
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#4 of 4 Old 08-31-2006, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Although I'm very annoyed that the biggest name in dyes, the one with the easiest-to-find dyes, can be so popular and yet impossible to not wash out.
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