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Solid Shade Immersion

Use this page to create a recipe for solid shade immersion dyeing on wool, silk and other animal protein fibers. If you don't have a dye pot large enough for the amount of fiber you want to dye, you will have to dye your fiber in batches. Select a dye type, an acid and enter the weight of the fiber. Click on the Submit button to display your recipe.

If you just need a list of ingredients for making a specific volume of acid bath solution, use the Acid Bath Solution tool.


Please read the Safety Tips before proceeding!

Step 1. Wet out the fiber

Soak the fiber for at least 30 minutes in enough warm wetting solution to completely cover it. To prepare a batch of wetting solution, add ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of 10% Synthrapol solution for every liter of water. If you don't have Synthrapol, add a few drops of dish soap for every liter of water.

Step 2. Choose a dye pot

Choose a stainless steel or unchipped enamel pot large enough for the fiber to move around freely without spilling any of the dye bath.

Step 3. Add the ingredients

Add the following ingredients to the dye pot and stir well.

    Step 4. Add the dissolved dye

    Measure the dye stock solution and add it to the dye pot. Stir to mix well.

    • Use the Depth of Shade Calculator to calculate how much dye stock solution you need to get the desired depth of shade.
    • If you're not sure what depth of shade you would like, try dyeing a Value Gradation and then pick the depth of shade you like best for your project.

    Step 5. Add the fiber

    Gently squeeze the excess water out of the wetted fiber and add the fiber to the dye pot. Stir gently to uniformly distribute the dye. Gradually raise the temperature of the dye bath to about 200 °F (93 °C). If your fiber contains silk, do not let the temperature exceed 185 °F (85 °C) or you may dull the luster of the silk. Stir gently at regular intervals. Maintain this temperature for about 60 minutes. After 60 minutes, if the water still has a lot of color in it, add additional acid. Add up to half the original amount of acid, pushing the fiber to the side of the dye pot so that you don't pour the acid directly onto it. Simmer for another 15 to 30 minutes.

    Step 6. Rinse the fiber

    Let the dye bath cool to room temperature. Remove the fiber from the dye bath and gently rinse it with room temperature water until the rinse water is clear. Gently squeeze out the excess water and air dry.