Blacks for shibori

24 September 2006

I have made a few posts (i, ii, iii, iv) about using a black dye to get black and white shibori. You want a true, deep black and white (determined by the whitness of the cloth you are dyeing) and of course, shades of grey. What you don’t want is shades of blue or pink or halos of purple–that is any color. There have been success and failure; not an easy task to get B&W.
Fiber influences your chance of success; both Neki and I have achieved it on silk. My failures have been on cotton.
The dye also effects the outcome; we had success with Lanaset Black and Dylon Ebony Black. Now Lanaset is an acid dye and acid dye families usually have a black manufactured color (not a mixture of other colored dyes) . The Lanaset one is a true black,some from other acid dye families have a cast, say purple for example. So the Lanaset one is special. There are probably other true black acid dyes that I don’t know, there are a lot of acid dyes. Now fiber reactive dyes, commonly used for cotton, do not usually have a black manufactured color and the black is mixed from navy, gold and red. The mixed black then separates during shibori, rather like chomotography, leading to colored halos. The mixed fiber reactive black might be beautiful in an immersion dyebath, or in direct application but they give us trouble in shibori. But there tend to be several mixed blacks and each may be designed for a specfic application process; the pad-batch black might be different than a immersion bath black. Fiber reactive dyes also work on silk (standard processing) and so you might find a silk black and a cotton black (here there are 8 blacks/greys for the old fiber reactive dyes, Procion MX).
While I was out buying notions to finish up the outfits for Artwear in Motion I saw some Dylon dye, black that had worked so well for Neki. So I am now the proud owner of 1.75 oz. of #12 black. From the package I learned it contains trisodium phosphate and reactive black 5. I suspect that this means it contains one dye that is black, not a muixture of dyes. I can’t wait to try it on cotton!


3 Responses to “Blacks for shibori”

  1. neki Says:

    Hey!keep me posted on your cotton experiments with dylon.
    fantastic to have a chemist in residence.
    neki desu


  2. I am not new to fiber art as I have done Rug Hooking for a few years and do my own designs and dye my own work. I have recently been introduced to silk through a mutual friend in Florida who also loves silk. I look forward to reading and sharing posts in the wonderous world of silk. So happy to have found Entwinements.


  3. Sheryl Schwyhart Says:

    Thanks for posting!
    Just a note – applications for Artwear in Motion 2007 are due April 2, 2007
    June will be too late!


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