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procion dye questions

608 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  3inclothdiapers
I asked some stuff on the diapering board, but thought I might get more response here. I'm dying prefolds with procion dyes and was wondering:

After I take the 3 prefolds out of the bucket (3 premiums= 1 lb) there's so much colored water that I end up dumping out. Seems like a waste. Can it be reused? Or is it no good since the soda ash has already been added? I'm following the directions on the procion container. Is there another way to do it where I can dye using water that already has the salt, dye, AND soda ash added to it (skipping that 20 min where the diapers soak in the salt and dye water before adding soda ash)???? I'm just looking to reuse each batch of dye-water as many times as I can, if possible!

Anyone know how many washes it takes to rinse the excess dye out? I've already washed the diapers once on hot, and I'm planning on doing that again tonight (I need to felt some wool anyway, and since the dye won't bond to it, I figured I'd throw the diapers in there too). The light over my laundry area is broken, so I really can't tell if the water is clear or not; otherwise I'd just look in there while they are agitating.

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Once the soda ash has been added to the dye bath, the dye molecules begin to react with the cellulose in the cotton and the molecules in the water. After about 2 hours the dye has bonded with and begun its reactions with the molecules in the water and the fiber. Thus, there are no "spare'(for lack of a better word) dye molecules to be shared with new fibers.

Now, after you completed your dye cycle and had removed the PF's, if you put in more items, they might end up getting stained the color, but much would wash out after a wash or 2.

So, to answer your question more simply...No, you cannot reuse the dye bath.

I feel you on the feeling like your wasting stuff. For this reason, I do not vat dye my solid color silks anymore, but do them using the low water immersion method.
For PF's I fit one or 2 into a 1 gallon bucket. Then I take the directions from the above link and double the amount of water and other ingredients.
i.e. I use 2c water mixed with double the amount of dye powder, pour that over the PF's. Then when I am ready to add the soda ash I use 2c water and 3 tsp. soda ash and add that to the bucket.

Here are some more narrative type directions for LWI dyeing.

As far as washing goes, do an initial hot wash, let it dump then stop the cycle before the rinse stage. Restart the wash(hot) and do the same thing. Then do a cool water wash and let the cycle go all the way to the end. You can do extra washes if you want, but if you have used the right amount of soda ash and have let the dye bath soak the right amount of time, you should be good with the number of washed above. Though, PF's are thirsty so an extra rinse wouldn't hurt.

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