Dyeing a (delicate) silk sari
  • So I have a vintage silk sari that I'd like to overdye-- So far I've only used the washing-machine method for dyeing fabrics, but I'm concerned that running this delicate sari through a full agitation cycle could damage it. I really don't want to sacrifice one of my big cooking pots to dyeing only, though.

    I've seen online that some people have just combined the iDye packet with boiling water and then poured the water over their wet fabric in a large plastic tub. Will this work if I stir it periodically, but don't re-heat the water? What if I were to just use my washing machine as a big "pot" and poured the hot water directly into it, without using the agitation cycle? Then I could drain the water and hand-wash the sari to get out the excess dye?

    For what it's worth, the original fabric is a dark salmon color and I really just want to give it an overdye of Crimson so it's a deeper red tone-- it wouldn't need much color to "take" to be right. Should I be using iDye, or Procion Mx?
  • There is more than one way to do this. You are correct on the agitation. You don't really want to do more than stir it. So, yes you can do this with Idye in this way, Crimson is ok and should dye very nicely even if it is just a tub of hot water. If this was a more mixed color like black or brown, I would be more wary. Adding the vinegar and salt is really important. You want to use vinegar or citric acid when you dye silk.

    The other way to go is our acid dyes. They are made specifically for wool and silk and are among the brightest dyes that exist. You can basically follow the stove top directions here. you may sacrifice a slight amount of brightness with the acid dyes, but it would still be brighter than the Idye. Again vinegar or citric acid are needed for dyeing silk.

    http://jacquardproducts.com/assets/jacquard-site/product-pages/dyes/acid/Acid Dye Instructions-2014.pdf

    Both of these are reliable and even dyes. I think you will have great success.