Print vat dyeing


The beginning tests before dyeing the silk pieces- didn’t manage to get a picture of the actual pieces before screen printing on them


At the beginning of print we had to create stencils to use for screen printing. These were based on the other projects so far from the box clever project. To begin, I looked at my swatchbook for inspiration of design, deciding to use basic shapes for a clearer print. Looking back, I regret this choice as when it came down to the printing I was unhappy with the basic outcome and tried to resurrect them. I also created many stencils that I disregarded when it came to the printing process.

Dyeing process notes

There are three different types of dye: Synthetic, Protein and Cellulose.

Direct dyes- Cellulose fibres- use salt

Protein dyes- Animal- Wool, Silk, Nylon

Acid levelling dyes wool better

Acid milling dyes silk better

Eco dyes aren’t particularly eco friendly- the water usage is huge.

One gram of dye to about a metre of silk- a thumb nail is about a gram. About 1/3 of the bowl in water- 5cm ish.

Percentage strength is out of 100% so when it shows a 2% strength to 500g of silk- there has to be 10g of dye. To combine colours, 5g of one dye, 5g of another.

Always clean bowl before dyeing as very often there are remnants of previous in bowl.

Washing powder needs to be used to clean the vat before dyeing. Blue handle under vat needs to be pulled down to hold the water, which needs to be filled 2/3 cm above valve on inside of the vat. The valve needs to float for it to work- if it doesn’t float then place scourer behind. The water within the vat vibrates when the water is heating up- temperature should be 60-80 degrees- the red light goes off when the temperature is correct. Do not leave the vat when it is on- do not turn the handle under vat up when it is full.

As long as the vat is off, it can be drained.

Wrap fabric around stick and stir into the dye- take out in seconds. Clean the stick before use as it soaks up the dye from previous use.

To wash the fabric put it in the spinner- close the lid for it to work- grey button on the top stops the spinner.

Make sure to put initials on fabric before dyeing.

Add grey to mute colours- leave in for longer for a darker colour and rinse before adding colours.



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