Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Dyeing of silk with lac dye

Dyeing of Silk with Lac Dye

To extract dye, stick lac is crushed into pieces but not into powder form because at the time of boiling, the sticky resin substance melts and sticks to silk fiber thus damaging the material. These small pieces of stick lac are wetted with water overnight and then churned by which dyes with water come out easily in the form of solution as the dyes are water soluble. It is filtered well and care should be taken that even a small piece of resin is not present in the solution. Depending upon conditions, dyes are extracted from 50% to 98%.

Silk is treated with 2-5% solution( on the weight of the material) of mordant (generally alum) at the boiling temperature for 45-60 minutes. Some times the dyer add turmeric powder (curcuma longa) to get the orange tone. Silk is squeezed only, not washed by fresh water, at this stage. If potash alum is used as mordant then purple color is produced. If copper oxide with ammonia is used then bluish violet is obtained. To get dark red, lead acetate is used, to get reddish yellow, pot. dichromate is used. Copper sulphate produces violet. Barium Hydroxide gives dark red, Tinchloride with Oxalic acid gives pink. Ferrous Sulphate gives a color ranging from grey to black. K2SO4 with Cream of tartar gives violet color.

Dye bath is prepared with the extracted dye solution and rest with water with material to liquor ratio of 1:30. Dyeing is carried out for one hour at boiling temperature. A little solution of myrobalan (Terminalia Chebula retz) is added during the process to achieve greater fastness.

Acidic pH is maintained throughout the process of dyeing and if required the pH is maintained by use of acetic acid. Now dyed material is taken out from the dye bath and washed with fresh water.

About 4-5 kg of stick lack is required for dyeing 1 kg of silk.

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