Friday, September 15, 2017

Dip Dyeing in to Break Different Brands of Black Food Coloring



I've been on a dip dyeing kick lately.  This technique is one of the best ways to accentuate the way different food coloring mixtures will break apart, i.e. separate into the individual colors.  I realized that Wilton changed their formulation of the black icing color in the last few years.  It used to have a mixture of Red #3, Blue #1, Yellow #5 and #6 to Blue #1, Blue #2, Red #40 and Yellow #5.  We know from experience that Blue #1 and Red #3 break brilliantly (see all of my Wilton's Violet videos).  The McCormick's Black* has a formulation similar to the new Wilton's Black food coloring; containing Red #40, blue #1 and Yellow #5.

*My McCormick's black is the same that I used in the past video, so it is many years old.  I'm not sure if they've changed their formulation.  

I thought it would be fun to redo an old dyeing experiment of mine.  I first shared the video Breaking Black: Dyeing Yarn with Wilton's vs McCormick's Black Food Coloring over three years ago.  Color breaking from kettle dyeing fiber is beautiful, but the results of the breaking can be more exaggerated when you dip dye your fiber.  I decided to take three full skeins of yarn, make three pots of dye, and then dip dye the fiber side by side so you could see the differences.


Did you know that I usually leave a table of contents in my video description? On YouTube (or here), if you click on the highlighted time, it will jump to the relevant section of the video. Sometimes these videos can be pretty long, so I wanted to make it as easy as possible for you to jump around and find the information you need for your own dyeing projects.

VIDEO CONTENTS: [0:00] Introduction and description of the formulation in the different black food colorings [2:22] Mixing the dyes (into 1/2 cup of water) [5:10] Setting up the Dyebaths - 8 cups water + 3T white vinegar + the dye mixed in the previous clip in separate pots [7:39] Presoaking the yarn (3 skeins of 100g KnitPicks Bare Worsted Wool of the Andes yarn) [8:23] Dip dyeing one skein into McCormick's black food coloring [14:17] Dip Dyeing one skein into the old formulation of Wilton's black food coloring [18:10] Dip dyeing one skein into the new formulation of wilton's black food coloring [22:18] Quick comparison of the yarns [23:25] Washing the dyed skeins [24:49] Conclusions and comparison to a dip dyed Wilton's violet skein of yarn

I'm starting to pay more attention to the specific ingredients in various shades of food coloring.  The Chemistry of Food Coloring is pretty interesting.  I also used the term "yarn chromatography" in a YouTube comment today and that is still making me giggle even though it is a perfect term for the color breaking.  

What kind of dyeing experiments would you like to see?  Most of my favorite videos are inspired by your comments! 

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