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Dyes and fixers

Which dyes are best for me?


All our dyes are versatile, easy to use and fun to work with. However if you are unsure which to use here is our very quick and easy guide to choosing the best dyes for your project.

What fibres can I dye?
• Kool Aid: Animal (protein) yarn & fibres (eg. wool, alpaca) only
• Acid: Animal (protein) yarn & fibres (eg. wool, alpaca) only
• Procion mx: All natural fibres (eg. wool, cotton, viscose, bamboo etc.)
• Natural: All natural fibres (eg. wool, cotton, viscose, bamboo, shell, wood etc.)

Do I need fixing chemicals (mordants)?
• Kool Aid: no, fixer is included in the sachet (just heat to fix)
• Acid: yes, mild acid (white vinegar/citric acid) + heat
• Procion mx: yes, mild acid + heat (animal fibres), sodium carbonate (plant fibres)
• Natural: alum + heat for animal fibres, aluminium acetate + heat for plant fibres

What about colour range?
• Kool Aid: the base colours generally very bright but these can be blended to produce more subtle colours
• Acid / Procion mx: blendable to achieve an almost infinite range of shades
• Natural: wonderful tonal shades and can be readily blended and modified
What if I need to produce predictable, repeatable colours?
• Acid / Procion MX dyes are our recommended dyes for repeatable colours

Do the colours last?
• Kool Aid: good colour fastness
• Acid / Procion mx: very good colour fastness
• Natural: variable depending on the extract, however, natural dyes age gracefully producing softer hues rather than fading unattractively

How economical are they?
• Kool Aid: ideal for small projects, but can be expensive for larger projects – 1 sachet will dye around 25g-50g of yarn/fibre to a medium shade
• Acid: very economical for dyeing animal fibres - 10g will dye as much as 1kg wool to a medium shade
• Procion mx: very economical as only one set of dyes is needed for all natural fibres - 10g will dye as much as 1kg wool or cotton to a medium shade
• Natural: very good in comparison to raw dyestuffs as the extracts are highly concentrated. 10g will dye between 200g - 1kg to a medium shade

If you have any questions or would like advice on a project or how to achieve a particular colour or shade please call, email or catch us at a show and we'll be happy to help!

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[All images and text © Debbie Tomkies and Peter Tomkies 2010]