A couple of months ago, a new Procion MX dye was released that’s actually a pure grey – one single molecule is responsible for the color, rather than the mixtures that all grey and black Procion MX dyes have been up to this point. I finally got around to ordering some from ProChem and dyeing some different concentrations of it because I need a lot of different greys for my Scrappy Swiss Cross Quilt. When I dye greys using Nickel, my favorite dye mix when it comes to making greys, I really like the light tones in the 0.1 – 0.6% OWD/DOS range, so I decided to dye several tones of the new Neutral Grey in that range, and then going 1 lighter and a couple darker.
When prepping my dye solution, the first thing I noticed was that there’s some white filler mixed in with the Neutral Grey powder, because there were lots of white specks mixed in with the grey specks. I understand why they did this, because greys are lighter values, and it would be easy to dye something too dark if you didn’t weigh your powders and measure carefully; this is why I usually use pure dyes, I don’t pay the dyehouse for filler, I just use less dye when I want to have light values of fabric. Anyway, here’s what I got:
It’s a very nice hue, and although their is some visual texture because I dye using low water immersion, which emphasizes that, there’s no splitting, no other hues that come through, as I have when I use Nickel, or any of the blacks:
I was VERY surprised to see how light all the values are! The 0.05% grey is very very close to white, I had to put a piece of the base cloth I used (testfabrics 419) next to it to see any difference. I’m not used to something dyed at a DOS of 4% to be so close in value to the 1% version of the same hue.
Here’s pieces of Nickel dyed at the same DOS, you can see how much more intense the Nickel is at matching DOS:
I moved the pieces of nickel to what I thought were the closest intensities:
But I think the 0.6% DOS of Nickel is more intense than the 4% Neutral Grey – do you?
I was so freaked out by this that I was worried I didn’t batch at a warm enough temperature (because I dyed these late on a cool day and didn’t batch overnight because I want light values), so I’ve designed another experiment to confirm this.
So, here’s the thing. I’ve been looking at these fabrics for a couple of days in lots of different light. As you can see in all the pictures in this post, it’s hard to photograph these fabrics, even with the white balance set, but I do believe what I’m showing you is what I see, and sometimes when I look at these fabrics, the neutral grey looks purple-ish. Nickel really does have a greenish tinge to it, but I was a bit surprised to see purple with this neutral grey. It seems to be more severe at the 1-4% DOS range, so maybe if I stay in the low values I won’t see the purple. I’m still ruminating on this.
In the meantime, more pretty pictures of fabric, just because!