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Setting Dye in Silk Fabric

How do you set dye in a silk garment? I would like to use old thin silk blouses to make a quilt. Some of them just run and run every time I wash them. What kind of dye does the manufacturers use for these silks? I have tried white vinegar, but it didn't work. Will the dryer or ironing help set it?


By Gorius from Gilroy, CA

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July 20, 20090 found this helpful

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.

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July 27, 20090 found this helpful

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.

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