Steaming cellulose fibers dyed with Procion MX dyes
  • In the winter batching cellulose fabrics dyed (i.e. painted) with Procion MX fiber reactive dyes is a problem for me. (It’s too cold.) I’d prefer to steam set them if possible. Steaming is also necessary when using soy wax crayons made with fiber reactive dyes. How do I avoid having cellulose fabrics treated with soda ash from turning brown in the steamer?
  • A lot people use a milder base for this. Because you are setting the dyes by steaming, you don't need such a strong base for setting. Better to use Sodium Bicarb(baking soda) than Sodium Carbonate (soda ash). Soda ash is too strong for steaming.
  • Note: When I said “dyed” (above) I meant painted/direct application with fiber reactive dyes.
  • Thanks for your help!

    When presoaking my fabric in baking soda, what amount of baking soda would I use in proportion to the water? (For example with soda ash, I use 9 tablespoons soda ash per gallon of water, per Ann Johnston’s books...)
  • I would use the 9 tablespoons still. It will be weaker, but the steamer should make up for that.