Experiments in Steaming

Someone wrote recently, inquiring about the soy wax dye pastes we introduced in January. She had questions about the colors not being as vivid as what we show on the website and wondered about the amount of steam or timing and pre-soaking her fabric. For those of you who don’t use dyes, in order for fiber reactive dye to bond to a fabric, there has to be a mordant or fixative. When a plant fiber, like cotton, is the fabric content, soda ash is used as the fixative. If a dye bath is the application of choice, soda ash goes into the dye bath. But if the application is painting or working with my soy wax crayons or pastes, then the fixative usually goes onto the fabric first. This is accomplished by soaking fabric in soda ash and water and then letting it dry.

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