Soda Ash Dyes

Have you ever heard of sprinkling salt (rock salt or coarse salt – I think) on shirts that are being tie dyed with Procion MX dyes (I order from Prochemical and Dharma)? Someone mentioned this to me once, but I don’t know the details. I use the typical soda ash soak method then squirt the shirts with Procion mx dyes. I am looking for new ideas and was curious about what the rock salt would do and exactly what the process would be.
Thanks! Laurie

Dear Laurie,
Here is what my friend reports about using rock salt for special effects dyeing:
“We use rock salt. It tends to cause “fracture”–separates the different colors in the dye and causes some of the interesting designs/patterns that you see in your finished product. When dyeing a garment, we put a skimpy layer of salt in the bottom of a Tupperware type tub, add the dye mixture (stir a bit), and put in the pleated, folded, or scrunched garment. Do a quick pushing of the garment to soak up some dye, then quickly flip it so that the other side gets some salt treatment right away. We have found that the initial dunking has most to do with the outcome. I also think the salt has something to do with keeping the colors vibrant (but I have no science of consensus to back this).”
I have seen some of the beautiful patterns that she has dyed with this method. It is not exactly tie-dyeing, in that it is mainly 1 color with special effects.
Check out the books and other resources at www.dharmatrading.com for further ideas, too.
Have fun!

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