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  • #14916
      • Experience: 20+ years
      • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

      Partner Member

      Another great “back to basics” question was sent to me over the weekend, about working with Dyes on drops:

      ” I read about using dye for painting on drops often, but there isn’t a brand mentioned, or instructions on what to do. (How much to mix, how to mix, what coverage is, etc) I often see pictures of Rosco’s Off Broadway and Super Sats on scenic’s mixing tables but I never see anything labeled “dye”. What kind of dye? Rit dye? Don’t you need to machine wash Rit dye to set it?

      Thank you for your time! I appreciate it very much!! “


      The products used most often where I work are two from Pro Chemical and Dye- Pro Liquid Decorated Color (LDC), Pro MX Fiber Reactive Dye, and Dharma Pigment Dyes from Dharma Trading Co.

      We mostly stick to the LDCs and Dharma. The Fiber Reactive came about because we were told that LDCs were not going to be made anymore (not true-thankfully) and were looking for alternatives, so my experience with Fiber Reactive is limited.

      Pigment dye (to my understanding) is really just finely ground pigment suspended in a clear binder. They come as a fluid, but can be thinned like crazy and the website says they cure in 7-10 days. The color dries in a typical “thinned-paint” amount of time and I have yet to have problems with the dye coming off the fabric before the cure time. They keep their vibrancy after even a 1:20 dilution and are the in house go-to for highly saturated translucencies. Dharma is similar but I personally go for LDCs first. Keep in mind that it IS a paint and adding water also dilutes the binder, however I don’t think I’ve added anything but methylcel (thickening agent) and water to LDCs, and I have never needed additional binder. ProChem sells an LDC sample pack on their website.

      I imagine some people use some other actual dyes and we also keep aniline in stock, but not having a high health concern or a need to set color with heat/washing is a big plus for pigment dye.

      Hope this helps!

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