I'm actually not sure which forum this belongs in more, so I'm posting it to both the dyeing forum and the Chat forum, but I've got a whole slew of questions about Sabraset/Lanaset acid dyes:
I recently tried dyeing some 400g skeins of 30/2 silk yarn, and had a very difficult time getting the dye job even. The silk clumped up, so I had to open up the skeins while they were in the hot dyebath, and rearrange the skein ties - which was difficult to do without burning my fingers, and which tangled the skeins.
I posted my question to another list (the dyerslist) and got the following advice:
(1) tie with LOTS more loose ties, up to 12 per skein;
(2) use more water;
(3) use some sort of lifting gadget to lift the skeins in and out of the dyepot (I found this on Sandra Rude's blog and will probably give that a try first:
(4) use Glauber's salt as a leveling agent
(5) either soak the skeins in chemical water before adding the dye, or soak the skeins in dye before adding the chemicals (not sure which but I can try both ways);
(6) pre-soak the skeins overnight;
(7) scour the skeins if they don't wet out properly or if they start clumping;
(8) heat slowly and maintain the dyebath at temperature for awhile.
All good advice, but I have a few more questions and thought I'd post some of them here:
(1) could the size of the skein (400g) have been a factor? I've had better luck with smaller skeins, but I'm wondering if anyone routinely dyes silk skeins that size without trouble.
(2) Albegal SET vs. Glauber's salt as a leveling agent - which do you use/recommend? Can/should I use both?
(3) holding the dyebath at temperature - in my experience, Sabraset dye "strikes" pretty rapidly once the water is at temperature. What is the purpose of holding the dyebath at 180-190 F for 45 minutes? Does the dye detach and reattach over the course of that period, making for more level results? I've never understood entirely why the
long bath is necessary, if someone can explain it to me, I'd be grateful.
(4) what is the optimum pH for Sabraset dyes?
(5) what is the purpose of sodium acetate when added to the dyebath?