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Hi everyone! I'm new to all of this - so please bare with my newbie questions!

I'd really like to try screen printing with fiber reactive dyes - but I'd like to print on shirts that I've dyed myself with a fr dye.

So my question is.........if I've dyed a shirt with a fr dye - will I then be able to print on the same shirt with a different fr dye? My understanding of the dye is that it forms a covalent bond with the fibers - so would the dye from the printed image even bond?

Thanks in advance
 

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As a new member here I was surprised that a search for printing with fiber reactive dye shows little discussion in the past (as far as I can find.) I realize that this thread is somewhat dated, but the answer is YES, you can print with fiber reactive dye on fabric that has already been dyed (or tie-dyed.)
Working with dye is much more involved and potentially messy than more straight forward printing methods, and requires some dedicated equipment such as clothes washers and dryers. I would be happy to discuss this type of application with any interested members. Dan
 

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Hi Dan, I am new to the site, searching for more information about screening with FRDyes. Glad to find someone who understands the process! I am very much interested in discussing the process with you, does your offer still stand?
Thanks!
LT
 

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Greetings LT. A couple of questions to begin – do you already have some familiarity with fiber reactive dye, and experience with screen printing? This would give me a basis to start our conversation.
I live on the east coast and get my dye, thickener and synthrapol from Pro-Chem; another good source (west coast) is Dharma Trading Co. I purchase fixer (soda ash) and salt (for dye bathing) from Agway.
 

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Hi Dan, as a matter of fact, I live driving distance to the Dharma trading retail store here in Northern California and have shopped there to purchase their procion dyes,sodium alginate, soda ash etc., to practice low immersion dying at home. I am quite the novice. I have no screenprinting experience at all but have been trying to research online. I am a mompreneur starting a baby clothing business and not looking to screenprint t-shirts, but to screen print yardage. It seems impossible to find a screen printer who works with reactive dyes, so I need to determine if it is something I can do myself. Zoo Ink in San Francisco can hand screen yardage with repeats up to 58"wide x 35"tall using water based pigment/inks. I would like to try screening some yardage with FR dyes maybe 3-4yds at a time? I have already ordered 60" wide optic white PFD 100% 1x1 cotton rib and 100% cotton jersey and am working with a graphic designer for my pattern, who will prepare a file to create the screen (will also need to find a place around here that will make my large screens). I just need to figure everything else out and have so many questions! Are the images as clean with FRD? Can an additive like soda ash, be mixed with the thickened dye mixture to eliminate prewashing and drying? Would the screen printed fabric require to be heat set? If so, can a flash dryer or heat press be used or would it have to be steamed? or would it just air dry? Any help or words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated!! LT
 

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this seems a very old thread, but i'll post my method of printing with fiber reactive dye in case it helps someone here. sorry about the links, i think i'm not supposed to do that, but i already wrote all this stuff up on my blog; seems silly to repeat it all here.

first, i mix up dye at 4x concentration. this stuff can stay in the fridge for quite some time without loosing power. i just use the regular tie-dye basics recipe at dharma but multiply the dye by 4. i use a hand blender to get it to mix. i then use this mixture to make bottles for tie dye as well as making dye for screen printing.

second, i mix up an alginate/soda ash solution. this i make really, really thick. i use the recipe for "cold batch" printing at dharma, but add more thickener. this i can keep in the fridge for some time as well.

when i'm ready to print, i mix the alginate/soda ash with the dye at 3 to 1 (3x alginate to 1x dye concentrate). this is only good for a few hours, so i try to only mix the exact amount i need. i did a run of 80 shirts one day with an 11" x 11" design and i needed a bit more than 16 ounces of the stuff, though i think i might have been being wasteful in my printing process.

here is my printing with dye blog post: screen print with dye

i print normally. i use a universal emulsion on a 110 mesh screen. this stuff: Emulsion - Grafic HU Dual Cure / Diazo - Quart i use that because it takes a long time to expose meaning that it doesn't have to be very precise (i use a halogen work lamp for exposure: diy exposure unit).

the curing part i haven't really gotten down yet. i have had success with using a quartz heater hovering over my pallet but that seems to take some time (diy flash cure unit). most recently, i built a steam cabinet and hung the shirts in that in groups of 20, but some got fuzzy results (like the dye ran or something), though they did cure. next, i'm gonna try building a conveyor dryer using the same quartz heater. i think that'll work because i can take the shirt off the press and start on the next one while the last one is going through. should be the same as the "flash cure" from there. a quick search on "diy conveyor dryer" will get you all kinds of examples. they look super easy to build.

my typical process is to print a group of white shirts with some black design and then take them to a group event and have kids tie-dye them. the dye is really the only way to go since it doesn't add a "feel" at all to the fabric and allows the kids' designs to come through. i'll try to remember to post my results when i get the conveyor dryer done.
 
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