Chemicals Used for Dyeing (During)
Urea is used in tie dyeing, or other direct application dyeing. It is generally not used in solid color dyeing. Moisture is an important component of the chemical reaction process with these dyes. Urea helps draw moisture to the chemical reaction, helping the dye penetrate the fabric. Urea also helps large amounts of dye dissolve in small amounts of water. We estimate that one pound of Urea will prepare enough chemical water to tie-dye about 16 to 18 t-shirts. 5 pounds will therefore prepare enough for about 80 shirts.
Ludigol is used in tie dyeing or other direct application dyeing. It is generally not used in solid color dyeing. Reactive type dyes slowly break down once they’re mixed with water, and over time the dye becomes less effective. Soon the dye solution will lose all effectiveness. Ludigol is added to the dye to keep the dye from breaking down in the water at higher rate. Ludigol keeps the dye fresher longer, and allows more dye to react with the fabric, helping the colors to come out brighter. We estimate that two ounces of ludigol will prepare enough chemical water to tie-dye about 60 t-shirts. Therefore, an eight ounce bag will prepare enough for around 240 t-shirts.
Water Softener is used in both tie-dye and solid color dyeing. Dyes simply work better in soft water. One eight ounce bag of water softener will tie dye approximately 160 t-shirts.