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Fabric Dye As A Basis For Ink?



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I found a tin of Dylon fabric dye (from when I would make tie dye T-shirts and jeans, I guess that really pins me down) and since those days are long past, I thought I might use it as a basis for an ink for my FPs... but, the instructions are only for how to dye fabric, and then you use a Lot of water to dissolve the stuff. Also, you had to add salt - this made sure the dye adhered to the fabric.

Does anyone have any experience doing this? I only have the one tin, and would not want to lose it because of an avoidable mistake...

Thanks for your thoughts!

a fountain pen is physics in action... Proud member of the SuperPinks

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Charles Rice

That sounds a little crazy to me. But what the heck, as long as you only use it with a glass pen or something really cheap.

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First I need to find out at what proportion to dissolve it. But yes, I would not risk my Deccan pens with this, nor most of the Camlins... But I have some cobbled-together stuff that will come in handy.

a fountain pen is physics in action... Proud member of the SuperPinks

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Sasha Royale

"Gee ! Found some stuff I don't use any more. Think I'll put it into my fountain pen."

 

Fountain pen ink is more than merely DIRTY WATER. The truth remains that you will have little clue what you will be

putting into your fountain pen, or if it is appropriate. Fountain pen ink ONLY in fountain pens.

 

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This is a good cleaning agent. That is a good cleaning agent. Mixed together, they would be twice as effective.

OR THE FUMES WILL KILL YOU !

 

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Be good to yourself and to your fountain pens.

Auf freiem Grund mit freiem Volke stehn.
Zum Augenblicke dürft ich sagen:
Verweile doch, du bist so schön !

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Welll, the dye adheres to cellulose fibers. Paper is made from cellulose fibers. That dye might work as an ink - forget fountain pen, I will try a dip pen first.

The main reason for wanting to try is is that it is a very deep dark blue color - really lovely - and I would love to have it as an ink.

a fountain pen is physics in action... Proud member of the SuperPinks

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laserlight
This is a good cleaning agent. That is a good cleaning agent. Mixed together, they would be twice as effective.

OR THE FUMES WILL KILL YOU !

 

Cowards die many times before their deaths;

The valiant never taste of death but once.

Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,

It seems to me most strange that men should fear,

Seeing that death, a necessary end,

Will come when it will come.

 

Be good to yourself and to your fountain pens.

 

But I admit that I am a coward, so I shall stick to fountain pen ink and store-bought pen cleaning agents for fountain pens :lol:

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Kosmic-kowgirl

Does the dye have to be mixed with boiling water? Rit dye is that way and once cool it doesnt "work" the same as when it's hot, and the powdered version got grainy once cool. Ive never thought about it as an ink but the heat setting factor, and how staining it is- it stained glass jars and I had to throw them away- I'd be afraid to have them stain anything. But Ive only used Rit, Im guessing Dylon is pretty much the same principle?

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Does the dye have to be mixed with boiling water? Rit dye is that way and once cool it doesnt "work" the same as when it's hot, and the powdered version got grainy once cool. Ive never thought about it as an ink but the heat setting factor, and how staining it is- it stained glass jars and I had to throw them away- I'd be afraid to have them stain anything. But Ive only used Rit, Im guessing Dylon is pretty much the same principle?

Good point, yes it is the one you have to dissolve in hot water. It does not say boiling, but the instructions do say to add salt to have it adhere to the fabric better.

There is also Cold Dylon, this you can dissolve in ambient temperature water, and I remember it works well to dye fabric, however I do not have that one in blue.

a fountain pen is physics in action... Proud member of the SuperPinks

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Sinistral1

If it is a successful outcome, please do post a writing sample!

Breathe. Take one step at a time. Don't sweat the small stuff. You're not getting older, you are only moving through time. Be calm and positive.

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I think what it takes to adhere to cellulose fibers is perhaps not that interesting here unless you are specifically trying to replicate the toughness of Noodler's cellulose-reactive inks. To behave like a regular fountain pen ink, one that is not particularly water resistant, simply requires that the ink dry and stain the fibers, which seems certain. However, one needs a preservative, and some things which are OK for clothes (or paper) are not OK for pens. For example, adding salt seems doesn't sound that good for pens. You'll need a preservative unless you intend to dump the ink out within days of mixing it. You will probably also need a surfactant. Perhaps a touch of dishwashing soap would suffice for experimentation. Likewise, reducing the pH of the ink by using some vinegar instead of water would help to preserve it. I personally would use Kodak Photo-Flo and phenol, instead. Sometimes people add glycerin to inks to make them more lubricious. I have done it, but the drying time increases.

Edited by mhosea

I know my id is "mhosea", but you can call me Mike. It's an old Unix thing.

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Hm, thanks about the note about salt. I wasn't too sure about it, and your remark has made me decide: no salt. In fact, I will see if this forms a uniform solution, not a suspension, at room temperature, and see if it behaves like an ink with a dip pen. If it does, I will try the next step: to add a preservative and, if necessary, something to help with flow. Thanks all for your thoughts. I will post with results, if any.

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First there is dye. And it is true that many of the dyes that are used in inks did originate from the textile industry.

 

Then there is one set of additives that you put in to make it a fabric dye. These are generally bad for any sort of metal. (However, I did see somewhere that someone had made a dip nib from a plastic bottle.)

 

Then there is a different set of additives that you put in to make it an ink.

 

The only easily available dye that has little in it besides preservatives (mostly Citric Acid, i.e. Vitamin C) is food colouring dye. They do work nicely in cheapy pens like Platinum Preppys.

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“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.


And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”


Granny Aching

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I dissolved the dye in a half liter of warm water, but I think it was too much water. The solution - the dye dissolved completely, as far as the (assisted) naked eye can tell - seems very diluted though, although my dip pen picks it up and I can write with it. I've put it in one of my experimental pens (($2 equivalent at a local Megastore). It too writes and so far, no negative effects are in evidence. Of course it's too soon to tell, yet.

But, I am hugely disappointed, and may give up the experiment, because the color that I got is definitely NOT blue. It is a sort of weak, bluish purple. Not the color I was expecting and wanting. The color does not really change when it dries.

Oh well... at least I was not planning to use this for anything else...

 

dcwaites, yes, I've also tried food coloring... works well in the cheap pens but I do not like the colors that are available here. That was one reason why I wanted to try this Dylon.

a fountain pen is physics in action... Proud member of the SuperPinks

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Well, I haven't completely given up yet. (Am funny that way). So this morning I put it in a bain marie and evaporated a little of the water off. I put about 40ml in an empty Quink bottle and added some flow helper (dish detergent) and tried it with a dip pen again. It looks a little better, but it's still purple. If more evaporation does its magic, I may yet end up with a nice dark purple. I am going to put it in one of the cheap pens I've already used for this. They seem fine, with the less concentrated "ink", for now. Waiting and seeing, for now.

a fountain pen is physics in action... Proud member of the SuperPinks

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Many dyes for fabrics have only time limited stability in water and afters some time they fall out, because they loose their solubility in water. I have read about some experiments with procion mx reactive dyes but it is also a dead end for me because of :

- you have to "deactivate" the reactive part of dye to give it stability so they will be no longer water resistant.

- amount of dye you have to put in solution is very high because only smalll part of particle "gives" color the rest is only a background

- a lot of other compounds in system of unknown influence on pens.

 

This applies to most of fabric dyes.

 

About food dyes - if something is intended to be used in food industry it doesn't mean that this is of high grade, it only means that this is safe to consume. So while coloring your ink you also put a lot of different stuff to ink (and believe me - it's rarely a citric or ascorbic acid). Many food dyes have a purity of about 60%, and what is rest?

I have a lot of tape - and I won't hesitate to use it!

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I'm not trying to make huge amounts of ink - basically what I wanted was to write with a color I like a lot that I had in the form of this powdered dye. It's a one-time thing - I just had this one tin. Are you saying that the dye may precipitate out of the watery solution, given time? That would of course not be a good thing, even for my limited experiment...

 

BTW, kwzi, I have heard about your inks and seen some scans - they are fabulous, and I hope they will be available to FPN members soon!

So, thanks for your comments. I will certainly keep an eye open for any strange behavior, and I won't be putting this in anything but easily replaceable pens...

a fountain pen is physics in action... Proud member of the SuperPinks

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Short update: I evaporated off the excess water by heating au bain marie, approximately half, and now have a nicely writing purplish liquid. It's been in one pen for a few days and not shown any adverse effects, although the other test pen did have issues and became a hard starter and skipper with a diluted version of this "ink". It has since been retired from testing duty. The other one is still going strong.

a fountain pen is physics in action... Proud member of the SuperPinks

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