Acid dyes for animal fibers

23 May 2009

Our 7 June Sundye will use acid dyes.  Acid dyes will only color animal fibers and nylon because of their similar chemistries.  Wool is an animal fiber but what else is?  Here are some description from the Year of the Natural Fiber and links for those who like to know more:


 alpacaAlpaca wool – Alpaca is used to make high-end luxury fabrics, with world production estimated at around 5 000 tonnes a year






camelAngora wool – The silky white wool of the Angora rabbit is very fine and soft, and used in high quality knitwear




camelCamel hair – The best fibre is found on the Bactrian camels of Mongolia and Inner Mongolia, and baby camel hair is the finest and softest 




Cashmere – Cashmere is exceptionally soft to the touch owing tothe structure of its fibres and has great insulation properties without being bulky



Mohair – White, very fine and silky, mohair is noted for its softness, brightness and receptiveness to rich dyes




silkSilk – Developed in ancient China, where its use was reserved for royalty, silk remains the "queen of fabrics"


Wool – Limited supply and exceptional characteristics have made wool the world’s premier textile fibre



 You can bring any of these fibers to dye with acid dyes or nylon.  Other fibers will not dye with these dyes.


The following week in Paint a Skein will will work with different dyes that color cotton and other cellulose fibers.  


3 Responses to “Acid dyes for animal fibers”

  1. Jennifer Brown Says:

    What a great resource in this post, thank you! I have been trying to find information online about the possibility of making an acid dye suitable for dyeing linen. I know that you are supposed to use direct dye for linen, but I mistakenly bought acid dye online. The shade I bought is beautiful, and I would like to dye a linen jacket with it if at all possible. Can I make an acid dye bath more alkaline with, say, baking soda an attempt it? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


    • No, acid dyes will not do a reliable job on linen. Linen is cellulose and you can dye it with dyes designed for cellulose- fiber reactives such as Cibacron F or FN, Procion MX,H or HEXL, vat dyes, direct dyes are the most common. Rit dyes too. Good dyeing starts with good preparation of the fiber and linen requires a good scour otherwise it can be reluctant to take up any dye.


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