Textile Dyeing Specialist Interview Preparation Guide
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Textile Dyeing Specialist Frequently Asked Questions by expert members with experience in Specialist Textile Dyeing. These questions and answers will help you strengthen your technical skills, prepare for the new job test and quickly revise the concepts

23 Specialist Textile Dyeing Questions and Answers:

1 :: Can I dye my upholstered chair/sofa/ottoman?

No. Don't even think about it, unless your piece is white or off white, and you are willing to undertake an experiment using SimplySpray spray-on fabric dyes.
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2 :: With all these caveats, what can I dye?

Prepared-for-dyeing garments, including everything available at Dharma Trading Co.; all-cotton sheets and pillowcases; all-cotton towels; vintage linens (many of these are sewn with cotton thread, which will dye); natural-fiber items that have faded and you want to restore them to their original color; cotton and rayon trims and laces; cotton undies (elastic will not dye); natural fiber yard goods.
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3 :: Is there a white dye?

Technically speaking, no. Some fabrics and colors can be changed or lightened using a good dose of chlorine bleach. Caveat: Start with a cup of chlorine bleach. Keep in mind that bleach will deteriorate fabric and if you use too much, you may end up with a shredding rag. Dharma also sells a color discharger for removing dye from fabric. If you are willing to be unattached to the outcome, you can try these methods.
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4 :: Can I dye my blue baby blanket pink?

No, because you are combining colors, just as if you were painting pink over a blue water color painting. However, you can dye a white or natural color baby blanket pink.
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5 :: Can I dye my wedding dress/bridesmaid dress/formal dress?

The simple answer is no. The vast majority of these dresses are polyester and acetate. Even if they are silk, the construction will probably not hold up to the warm water and agitation process. In addition, any trim may not dye or could take the dye in a different strength or color.
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6 :: How to dye fabric in order to make quilts, garments, table linens, etc?

The best place to start is with the prepared-for-dyeing fabrics at Dharma Trading Co. Their fabrics have no coatings or treatments that would make them resist the dye. Cotton and linen fabrics from Dharma do not need to be washed before dyeing. They recommend washing silk fabrics with Synthropol first (also available from Dharma), in order to take out any remaining silk worm gum.
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7 :: Explain Wool dyeing?

Acid dyes are also used for dyeing wool - again, they require very hot water, so your fabric must be able to withstand any resulting shrinkage, matting, or felting. For this reason, I do not recommend dyeing already-constructed wool garments, such as coats, sweaters, or dresses, unless they are really large, and/or you are completely willing to experiment with the results.
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8 :: Explain Silk dyeing?

Acid dyes as best for solid-color dyeing of silk. I personally use the reactive dyes on silk because they are so simple and can be done in the washing machine. However, on silk, the reactive dyes do not come out the same colors as on cotton, so it requires experimentation to get what you want. If you want true-to-swatch silk colors and want to experiment with the acid dyes, they require very hot water, either in the washer, or on top of the stove. Acid dyes will also dye nylon.
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9 :: Explain Solid color dyeing cotton, linen, rayon, and silk?

The best dye for vivid, color- and light-fast color are the reactive dyes, Some crafts stores carry reactive dyes, also. Get catalogs and instructions from these sources and study the materials carefully.
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10 :: What if you have a garment or fabric that is half or less polyester and the other portion a natural fiber (like cotton), you can try using the reactive dyes?

Keep in mind that the dye will take at about half strength. In other words, it's very hard to get a dark color saturation. Cotton mixed with a minimal amount of spandex (5-10%) will take the dye pretty well!
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