Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dying Lace with Potassium Permangante is Not for Wimps!

Okay...I debated about even posting this adventure. But, if it helps someone else NOT make the same errors, it is worth it.

See this...it is a batch of lace dyed with potassium permanganate. More on that in a minute.
First, let me say that I have purchased some gorgeous lace dyed with PP, and wanted to try it for myself...I'm just a Do-It-Yourself kind of girl! So, I read up on the process.
Found an article in CQMagOnline some time back that included this information:
 
QUOTE: "I next repeated the process using 1 cup of water with 1 teaspoon of the PP. The results were darker, but along the same colorations. I then decided I wanted to add darker areas, so I mixed up another batch of solution with 2 teaspoons of PP and painted this on the drying lace. The longer this was left in the air, the darker the color became. It did not become very dark, but did add nice shading. I also experimented by painting this on dampened uncolored lace; however, the final result was virtually the same as dipping dry lace in the 1 c water/1 teas PP solution."
 
 Now, I have no idea what type of lace this lady was dying...but mine were various pieces of venise lace motifs. According to this article, the recipe was "1teaspoon of PP to 1 cup of hot water".
 So, I heated a pot of water and went to get my rubber gloves. Opened all the windows in the kitchen, and drug out my ole trusty bucket for dying. Into it I put all of my lace (first mistake, should have tested one piece!!)...but in my defense...I was trusting of the recipe.
I measured the hot water as I poured cup after cup onto my lace. Soon it was submerged in nine cups of water. To this I added seven teaspoons of PP...while holding my breath, because I do not own a ventilated type mask...and this stuff is super poisinous.
I added less PP than the recipe because I did not want the lace too dark.
But here is what it looked like coming out of the solution, after two plain clean water baths...and I was getting concerned after it was all laid out.
The PP reacts with oxygen, and I did note that some lace pieces were turning brown. But, not very fast...and I was still worried. So, I scooped almost all of the lace back up...
put the pieces into a white pillowcase...rolled the top down twice and secured with safety pins. Put it into the washer...on oversize load...and warm water for wash and rinse. Here is what the RINSE water looked like. That's AFTER the wash cycle had completed...isn't this dark? Good I thought, a lot of the PP is being washed out...so the lace should be lighter...but I hope not TOO light.
 See, I'm a worry wart ...aren't I. Hugs!
After the washing...I took it back into kitchen and dumped the pillowcase contents on to a dry towel...to spread out for drying.
Here is what I saw...
In case you have not figured it out...here is a closeup...
Yep, the lace had disintegrated...not just tangled...it looked like a huge hairball with some tidbits of lace here and there. Awful mess!
 All that lace...gone...how sad.
 But, there is more...I used the PP rinse water...which I figured was about 1 1/2 gallons and added 1teaspoon of PP to it. Threw in some trims...(understand that the motifs were in the washing machine, and I had not seen their RESULTS yet...or I would not have tried the trims)
But, here is what I got...and love them! Thankfully...
 The shades are dependent on the type of lace...as they should be.
I don't know what went wrong with the recipe...or if my PP is stronger or something...but just BEWARE! If you try this at home...test a piece before you do the whole bucket full of lace!
If/When I do this again...my NEW Recipe will be 1 GALLON of water to 1 teaspoon of PP.
 I'd like to know what recipe you use if you do this...email me if you don't want to comment.
Have you ruined lace in the past...or am I the only "foolish, stupid, unlucky, etc...pick your own word" out there to mess up like this. Geez!
 
Okay...you can't say I didn't warn you...Hugs!
 
Photobucket

2 comments:

Irina Gordienko said...

как жаль! думаю, слишком сильный концентрат марганцовки разъел нежное хлопковое кружево... спасибо, что предупредили!

Mosaic Magpie said...

I saw some beautiful rayon lace that had been dyed with potassium permanganate at a quilt show. Me being a DIY too, wanted to give it a try. The chemical is hard to find but I found it at Sears in the water treatment department. The lace I tried it on was rayon and it worked well. I don't remember the amounts of water/chemical but I do remember it had to be used on rayon lace. I will try to find the directions I have and get back with you.
Deb