Recipes For Dyeing Silk


Silk is dyed in a similar manner as described for wool, but requires

stronger vats and longer dips to obtain the same depth of colour. See

page 33.


Dye at a temperature of 40 to 50 deg.C. with as much Indigo Extract

dissolved in the bath as is required for the desired depth of shade.

If the silk has been first mor
anted with alum, compound colours can

be obtained by the addition of a red or yellow dye to the bath.


Mordant with Alum or Aluminium Acetate and dye with 40 to 50 per cent

Cochineal. A teaspoonful of Tin, dissolved in cold water, may be added

to brighten. Boil well. It is advisable to wash in soap after using

tin as it prevents the latter making the yarn brittle.


Mordant with Alum or Aluminium Acetate. Dye with 80 to 100 per cent

Madder and a handful of bran per pound of silk. Bring slowly to the

boil in 1 hour, boil a few minutes. It should be brightened by boiling

a short time in soap, with a little tin.


Mordant with Alum or Aluminium Acetate. Various Dyes may be used.

Weld: Dye with 150 per cent. Flavin: Dye with 1 oz. to the pound,

with a teaspoonful Tin. Fustic: Dye with 50 per cent, or more.

Quercitron: Dye with 10 to 20 per cent. A little chalk may be added

towards the end.

The shades may be varied by the addition of small quantities of madder

or cochineal. Orange may be obtained by the use of Madder, 2 to 4 ozs.

per pound, with Flavin or Fustic.


Greens may be obtained by dyeing with any of the yellow dyes and

blueing in the Indigo Vat or with Indigo Extract. If the colour is

thin, it should be dyed a deeper blue in the vat and then re-dyed with

yellow. A strong clear yellow is needed for a good green.


Dye silk blue in Indigo Vat. Then dye without mordanting in Cudbear.

(8) ORANGE (1 lb.)

Mordant with Alum Acetate. Dye with 1/2 lb. Madder, 2 ozs. Flavin and

1 oz. tin.

Enter the tin first in a cold bath. Mix Flavin and Madder into a paste

and add to the bath. Bring to the boil slowly, boil for 10 minutes.

Wash in soap.

(9) BLACK (1 lb.)

Mordant with Alum Acetate. Dye with 6 ozs. logwood, 3/4 oz. flavin, 1

oz. Iron. Mix all together and boil for 1/2 hour. Wash thoroughly.

(10) BLACK

(1) Mordant with basic ferric sulphate and after allowing the

silk to lie for some time, wash well and soap at 90 deg.C.

(2) Dye with 50 per cent Fustic, 10 per cent Ferrous Sulphate

and 2 per cent Copper Acetate.

(3) Dye with logwood 50 per cent and soap.

(11) GREY WITH BRACKEN (1 lb.)

Mordant with 1 oz. Iron and 2 ozs. Cream of Tartar. Boil a quantity of

young bracken tips for 1/2 hour. Strain. Boil silk in the decoction

for about an hour.

(12) BROWN WITH LICHEN (1 lb.)

Mordant with Alum Acetate. Put into the dye bath the quantity of

lichen according to required colour with about a teaspoonful of Acetic

Acid. Boil from 1 to 3 hours.

(13) ORANGE (1 lb.)

1 oz. tin, 1/2 oz. Oxalic Acid, 2 oz. Flavin. Enter silk and boil for

1 hour. Remove silk and add to the bath 1 oz. tin, 1 oz. Oxalic, 2 oz.

Cochineal. Boil for 1 hour or more.

(14) BLACK (1 lb.)

Mordant with 2 oz. logwood extract, 1-1/4 oz. fustic extract, 1-1/4

oz. iron, 1/2 oz. copper sulphate. Boil for 1 hour. Take out and

rinse. To the same bath add 1-3/4 oz. logwood extract, 1 oz. fustic

extract, 7 oz. madder. Enter silk and boil for 1 hour. Wash in soap.

(15) YELLOW (1 lb.)

Mordant with 1 oz. Bichromate of Potash. Boil 1 hour. In a separate

bath put 1 lb. weld and boil for 1 hour.

(16) RED (1 lb.)

Mordant with 1-3/4 oz. tin and 1-3/4 oz. oxalic acid. Boil for 1 hour.

Then add 3/4 lb. cochineal and 6 oz. madder. Boil well and wash in


(17) BROWN (1 lb.)

Mordant with 1 oz. Copper sulphate. Boil for 1 hour. Take out silk and

add 2-1/2 oz. madder, 1 oz. fustic chips, and boil for 1 hour.

(18) RED (1 lb.)

Dissolve 1 oz. Tannic Acid in hot water. Enter silk and leave for 24

hours, stirring occasionally. Rinse well in two waters. In a fresh

bath, put 4 oz. cochineal. Enter silk. Bring to boil and let blue

colour develop. Lift, and add 1 oz. cochineal & 1 oz. tin. Re-enter

silk & boil well. Wash in soap.