Monday, September 1, 2014

Mixed-Up Monday: Getting Started with Stock Solutions

I'm beginning a blog series about color blending with acid dyes. Mixed-Up Mondays!  If you're into WoF's, percentages, and lots of precise measurements, this may not be for you.   Every dyer has their own process; this happens to be mine.

I'll be using Jacquard Acid Dyes (and one Dharma)  for this series.  I have the primary colors CMY, RB, black and brown.
Jacquard 624 Turquoise
Dharma 411 Deep Magenta
Jacquard 601 Sun Yellow
Jacquard 617 Cherry Red
Jacquard 621 Sky Blue
Jacquard 639 Jet Black
Jacquard 632 Chestnut

You can make any color imaginable with just these 7 dyes.  Please note you may mix your own brown,  I purchase the brown just to make my life a bit easier.  I like to work with dyes using a concentrated stock solution because it is easier to mix and get my target color.  After some practice, when you see a color you want, you'll be able to break it down to it's primaries and recreate it on fiber or yarn.

What you'll need:

damp towel (or sham-wow)
dust mask
plastic bottles (I recycle Gatorade or Vitamin Water bottles)
measuring cup
measuring spoon
warm water
acid dye powder in primary colors:  Turquoise, Magenta, Yellow, Red, Blue, Black, and Brown

Place your damp towel on your work surface to catch any stray dye powder.  Put on your mask and gloves.

 Add about 16 oz (about 2 cups) of warm water to your plastic bottle.

  Next, add 2 level tsp of dye powder.

 Cover and give it a good shake for a minute.

Do this for each color you have. Sometimes there will be bubbles so let those settle before opening.  

You can use these solutions for a few days, they will be fine.  Solids and globs (that's the scientific term there) may form after a few days.  Just reheat the bottle in a hot water bath and give it a good shake again.   We're all set for some color blending!

Up Next on Mixed-Up Monday: (reader color request) Lime Green


  1. I'm really looking forward to this series! I dyed some yarn a horrible green color that I'd love to overdye into something less fluorescent but I have no idea how to go about a good combination.

  2. Hi Alicia!
    I hope I'm able to share some tips that might help out during the blog series. Up next, is lime green! It may very well be the same shade as yours, lol. It's really bright! You might want to try overdyeing it to a darker green, or maybe dip it in a dark turquoise for teal? And you can always go for brown. ;)

  3. Hi Laurs, We had out 2nd annual dye party last Sunday. I used your core colors and lots of inspiration from you to come up with a pretty nice braid of handpainted fiber. Thanks for your inspiration and hints. I could never do what you do so consistantly. But, I am really happy with what I did last weekend! Thanks!!! Hope to see you again sometime. ginny

  4. That's so cool Ginny! Keep on dyeing! :D I hope to see you soon too! :D

  5. What weight per volume percentage (% w/v) are the dye solutions?

    1. This is just a basic stock solution. It'll vary with each color depending on how light or dark you want your end color. Sometimes I add as little as 1/4 tsp, and other times as much as 5TB per oz of fiber. :)

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Okay. I am a chemist and would net meassure solids in volume instead on weight. I will have to make up my own stocks then:)

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  7. Hi Laurs, sorry to reply to an old post, but I was looking over your dye choices and was curious why you chose the Dharma cool magenta over the Jacquard version?