Thursday, 13 December 2007

Procion washfastness tests

Tests on Procion MX are ongoing. I've found no difference in results between freshly mixed and slightly aged dye (eg several days old without soda ash mixed in).

Nor between dye applied in a warm room (22 C), or in a cooler room (20 C), between warm (32 C) and cool (19 C) temperatures of dye when applied (managed to get dye heated to 32 C in pots on storage heater. That was in the evening, probably in the morning I could get them warmer). I'm aware I hadn't got the dyes to the recommended temperature of 35-41 C or even higher for cyan, so the test may be a false one.

Nor any difference in drying dyed cotton under a polythene sheet (keeping damper for longer thus giving a longer reaction time), and allowing to dry uncovered in natural time (whether warm or cool applied dyes).

Nor any difference between rinsing soda ash off the cotton in cold water before boiling, and not doing so (warm and cool applied dyes).

Nor any difference in drying in a warm room after boiling out wax, and drying in an unheated room (warm and cool applied dyes).

In all cases, the rinse water is clear following the post-boil rinse. But soaking in either hot or cold water loosens first excess cyan, then after some time excess magenta. It would seem that yellow doesn't loosen, because even though it would be hard to see yellow in clear water it certainly would change the magenta or cyan towards either red or green. I don't know about black.

Obviously the photos show some variation in colour between test pots, but the results I'm looking for will show dye in one but not the other.

I have some more ideas to try, including getting dye above 35 C with the ambient temperature up to about 25 C (though once when it was at 23 C it was difficult to keep myself from opening a window), ironing these current tests to give them a super-blast of heat and, applying a second layer of fix to new sections of previously dyed and boiled but not soaked pieces.

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