Greener Shades F.A.Q

Are these dyes organic?

We are unable to call or label these dyes as "Organic" as they are an intermediate step to a finished product. These dyes do comply with the Organic Trade Association's criteria for organic processing. This means that if you would like to get your yarn certified and call it organic, you can now dye the yarn and still create a product that will comply to organic standards and label it as such.

Are these dyes Environmentally Friendly and/or Low Impact?

Yes they are! There are several benefits from using these dyes. To start with, the effluent or wastewater from the manufacturing process is heavy metal free and not classified as hazardous waste! When dyeing, you will not be putting heavy metals into your ground water. You will not be wearing garments with heavy metals in them. And lastly when the garment eventually ends up in a landfill, there are no heavy metals going back into the ground.

What makes your dyes non-toxic?

Greener Shades dyes are non-toxic primarily because they contain no heavy metals. The other ingredients used to make Greener Shades dyes are non-toxic as well. Chromium, specifically, in its various forms can be used to make some of the colors in other manufacturer's dyes. This metal can be quite toxic to humans and animals when inhaled or ingested. Inhalation can occur when measuring out the powder and if you dye your skin, the dye goes directly into your blood stream. If you are rinsing dye down the drain, you are possibly polluting ground water with a water soluble version of chromium. Effects of chromium on living animals range from skin irritation and breathing problems to digestive issues and cancer.

Are these dyes safer than other acid dyes?

Yes they are! Because they are tested to comply with the Organic Trade Associations criteria for organic fiber processing, you can be assured that there are no heavy metals in the dyes. It is possible for heavy metals to be introduced into the dye in the manufacturing process even though the recipe for the dye does not call for any.

Are all acid dyes heavy metal free?

No, not all acid dyes are heavy metal free. Blues and Greens especially are not heavy metal free. Heavy metals normally found in dyes include chromium, copper, iron, maganese, and nickel.

How are these dyes different from other manufacturers dyes?

These dyes are not classified as a leveling or as a milling dye. They are formulated to have the characteristics of both, ie. excellent washfastness, excellent lightfastness, and very bright colors. They are also formulated to have balanced sulfonation between each color so that they perform well when mixed. The formulatation of Greener Shades dyes specifically requires no heavy metals in the manufacture of them.

How do these dyes perform compared to other manufacturers dyes?

Greeener Shades Dyes perform differently from other manufactures dyes as they are sulfonically balanced so they perform equally well when mixed together. We use these dyes exclusively in our fiber mill as they exhaust better, mix better, level better, give brighter colors (less dye needed to get desired shade) and generally have better washfastness and lightfastness compared to other acid dyes that we have used in the past.

How much fiber is 1/2 ounce of dye able to color?

Each 1/2 ounce jar of dye is able to dye 3 lbs of fiber at 1% Depth of Shade. This produces quite a bright shade of color. We generally recommend using a .75% Depth of Shade to start with when just starting out with the dyes.

What leveling agent is recommended to use with the dyes?

Generally we find that a leveling agent is not necessary when using these dyes. If the fiber is clean (no soap residue or dirt residue) the dye attaches very uniformly throughout the fiber. If you find that you need a leveling agent, we have used Albegal SET leveling agent in the past. We can also source a leveling agent from our dye manufacturer that works quite well, too.

I would like to wash my dyed fiber. What should I use?

All acid dyes are designed to attach to the fiber in an acidic environment. GreenerShades is about PH of 4.5. It is possible to break the bond with the fiber by introducing alkalinity to the fiber. PH above 7 can start to break the bond with the fiber and bleeding will occur. If the fiber was not clean enough or not set long enough, the bleeding will occur more quickly. Sometimes acid dyes will attach to the fiber weakly and not really be bonded. When introduced to a more alkaline solution, this "extra" dye can break off and bleed into your rinse water. This is called "cracking" and should not change the color of the yarn. We recommend a very gentle, neutral PH, soap to wash your fiber. Many laundry detergents and dishwashing liquids are quite harsh. Shampoo as you would use on your hair generally has more information available to make a decision. There are also many fine Fiber Wash products available as well. Or you can always contact us for the gentle scouring agent we use at Still River Mill to wash your fleeces and yarn.

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