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Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:39 pm
by bjarkileach
Hello Oh forum people.

I was wandering if anyone uses dylon dyes to mimic madder or woad dye? I'm going to be dyeing wool, for a Thorsburg tunic.

as I want a more easy way of dying that blue or red in my flat, and not having to worry about vats of stuff sitting around for ages.

I was thinking of using the "rosewood" red from their current range or the "bordeaux" from their old range for the red, but I'm not sure about the blue.

any ideas would be good.


Re: Dye

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:14 pm
by Miss Costello
Not sure if you've come across these textile dyes, I used pomegranite for a project and I liked the results. Sorry, not sure if it's suitable for your era.

Re: Dye

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:16 pm
by Alice the Huswyf
The old Dylon dye colours were much surer than these new ones becuase the range was larger and the shades more subtle - the modern ones can be quite violent. I would suggest using partial amounts of modern dye - after all, even cheap / accessible dye batches like madder would be used and used until the last of the pigment was taken up - it can range from a deep russet brown to light peach depending on amount of dyestuffand time of steeping. Mid-range, natural orange-toned soft red is more the norm.

The new dylon range is not so good for low class blues as it is so compacted a range now. You are going to have to scale down the amounts and experiment with repeated steepings to get a good result. It's worht the time as once you have worked it out you are all set for next time.

Or you could buy madder from suppliers and try it yourself - Sally Pointer uses it over a range of projects and found it easy on cloth - I think she may even have used it in the washing machine???? Have a look at her website.

Re: Dye

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:12 pm
by sally
I have indeed used madder in the washing machine, but with some caveats- I save up my madder from earlier dye batches, where there is still dye to be had but I havent felt inclined to exhaust it, and when I have about a pudding basin full, thats when I use it in the machine. I tie it all up very very well in a jelly bag, and soak it for a few days before dyeing. The water from the soak also goes in the machine. I hot wash the fabric first with the mordant, then right way, put in the soaked madder and any soaking water, and run it again as hot as the fabric will take. Done this way, I get a good even but pale madder exhaust colour on wool or linen, I don't expect to get a deep colour, especially as I have a front loader so can't pause the wash to soak in the dye liquor. I find it a useful method and a good use -for me- of leftover madder, but its probably rather wasteful of dye if you are starting with fresh madder. Far better to find a way to set up a large vat and rotate yoru fabric through it to conserve the colour.

Re: Dye

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:54 pm
by Alice the Huswyf
New Dylon: the rosewood from memory is a red brown and would be better than the bordeaux which is a blued shade.

Od Dylon - I used to use the coldwater bronze Rose - ... 6b1b874738 : ON wool it comes out softer and redder than the label
Old DYlon - I used to use Moon Blue ... 8266202a21 as an exhuast woad shade. ON wool it comes out colder and grayer than the label

Re: Dye

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:30 pm
by Jackie Phillips
iDye do some good machine dyes as well, not so easily available - I get most of mine from

Colours tend to be slightly paler than the description, especially the reds. Instead of using 2 packs at once for more fabric or deeper colour that I do with Dylon, I tend to dye, then dye again with these.

Don't get iDye poly by mistake, this is for polyester and nylon. Dying wool requires using white vinegar rather than salt, though I have only tried it on linen.

Re: Dye

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 5:51 pm
by Alice the Huswyf
I've never come across a dye that claimed it would do polyester until this - you get interesting heathering on poly-cotton with dylon where it only takes up in the cotton(although it loves nylon). Thank you.

Re: Dye

Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:58 pm
by Treaty Money
New Dylon: the rosewood from memory is a red brown and would be better than the bordeaux which is a blued shade.

Don't bother with that Dylon Dye - its Rubbish, I got something which was terribly washed out and bleached out all the previous good dyeing I had done. I wanted to achieve an overdye for a customer who wanted something cheaper and the dylon ruined the whole piece..

I won't use Dylon again

If you want good results from a packet dye - Use 'Idye' I use them if a customer isn't wanting to spend the money on the natural dye and the effects are similar.

Re: Dye

Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:56 pm
by Alice the Huswyf
Overdying is always a risky business.

The secret with Dylon is I find, not follow the steeping instructions but to work the fabric continously in the bath through the entire period. This applies to both "cold " dye and stove top "hot" dye baths and haven't had duff results since using this method. Of course you do need to know which type suits best, (becuase not all fabrics listed include the ones I'm working with , while some naturals do not take up the full depth of colour),when to use salt as a fixative and when vinegar. Nor have I had a problems with the product in the washing machine, given sensible attention. A friend has procured astonishingly neat results in the washing machine with wool tent curtains: not the the easiest volume or fabrica for that method.

Re: Dye

Posted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:37 pm
by Kate Tiler
Moira sells dye extracts which are easier to use than the plant material but are still a natural dye - her website is:

for the madder page.