By Gorius from Gilroy, CA
Update on original question: These are handkerchief silk garments that are commercially dyed. I have no idea what they use for dye. Do you mean that I should use the vinegar/water recipe and heat the water with the garment in the water? I tried soaking one of them in straight vinegar overnight, but only got pink vinegar. Rinsed several times after the vinegar, but it still bleeds.
When you use food coloring or cake decorating paste with white vinegar as fixative for protein fibers (wool, silk are protein fibers) you want the temp to get to 180 degrees plus or minus a few degrees. Not a simmer, below that. The color will 'strike' at that temp when you have about 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar per quart of water. By that it means the fiber will suck up/take up the color and water will be clear or close to it.Take off heat, let cool, rinse, hand wash gently with a little dish soap and rinse again. Keep rinsing until there is no color in water.
You don't want to simmer or boil silk; it can start to dissolve, but does take dye well.
Add your voice to the conversation. Click here to answer this question.