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© since 1986 G&S Dye and Accessories Ltd
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 volume 2, edition 1

 January 1997





A year ago when I ventured into this project, I never thought I would be able to see "volume 2" of G&S NEWS but here we are. In the past year you could say I have changed the way G&S Dye communicates with its customers. The most obvious change was how everyone knows your name. This initial warm reception opens dialogue with our customers and has only improved how we respond to your needs.

In 1996, I made it a mission to improve our collection of books. Our 47 different books (increase of 18 this year) now cover a wider gammit of interests and techniques and I intend to continue to search for more. This year's goal is to improve our paintables line. Currently limited to fabrics, scarves, T-shirts, bags, aprons and ties, you should start to see a wider range of additional items in the coming months. If you have any great suggestion drop me a line, I would love to hear about it.

Take care




Basic Dyeing - (Part 1 of 2)


Everyday someone always asks about dyeing this fabric, object or garment. My personal favorite "I've spilled bleach on my clothes, how do I dye over it?". This two part series will try to give you answers on how to dye the most common items around along with some trickier ones. Part one will introduce the dyes used in the market. Part two will be on Dyeing Tricks & Techniques.

Different fabrics and weight of fabrics absorb dye at different rates and intensities. This creates difficulties when you try to match colours or try to achieve uniform results. A variety of fabrics also require different types of dyes and chemicals to assist in the dyeing process. Natural fabrics tend to be the easiest and safest to dye. Synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon, acetate, or lycra are more difficult due to the natural water resistance of the fabrics. Synthetics also require more heat and stronger chemicals to assure successful dyeing.

The most common fabric is white cotton. Cotton dyes extremely well and uniform. It is when you add blends that things get complicated. Cotton fabric or T-shirts can easily be dyed with any store bought dye (Dylon, Deka or Cushings), but for best results reactive dyes (Procion MX) will yield the strongest colours. Procion MX Dyes also dye every type of natural fibre (rayon, linen, hemp, silk or wool) but work best on cellulose fibres. They are warm water dyes (dyed around 35oC) which is advantageous for finer fabrics. The ideal dye for protein fabrics (silk and wool) is acid (Country Classics). Even though reactive dyes work on these fabrics, the colours are usually not as brilliant or clear when you use acid dyes. The "acid" in acid dyes refers to the chemical assist that you use to activate the dye reaction. Acid dyes have one drawback, in that they are hot water dyes and must be dyed over a heat source (stove).

So how difficult is it to dye using Procion MX or Country Classic? Over the past few years we have simplified our immersion instructions quite a bit, to the point where dyeing is as simple as following a cooking recipe. If you are interested in receiving these instructions, we shall be glad to send you a copy by mail, fax or email.

PART 2: Dyeing Tricks & Techniques



Expected to be launched early in the new year, our new and improved web site with simpler navigation, faster downloads and new features prominently displayed. The most exciting additions are the customer gallery and on-line contests.

The Customer Gallery is a place for you to view the wonderful works of our customers. This is also a great place to contact the artists, as every piece of work will have a direct link to the artist through email or their own personal web site. If you wish to be added to the gallery, please contact me at to get further details.



Questions and Answers


Q: What are the differences between a dye and a paint?

A: The following table lists all the different characteristics of both. It should help you understand the strengths and limitations of both type of colourants

appearance can come in powder or liquid form; liquid appears translucent; hard to determine colour when in solution; powders do not show true colour also  usually in a liquid or paste formcolour of paints are usually the finished colour; paints are not translucent and are not in solution
application the application of the dyes can be more involved than paints. Making it more time consuming; the quality gains are unnecessary or not noticeable for some fabrics a multitude of applications are possible; the ready to use nature of paints make them easy to apply with brush, squeegee, printing or airbrush; immersion is the only method that doesn't yield good results
bonding methods usually done on a molecular level with the fabric, therefore quite strong paints coat the fabric and attach themselves to the surface of the fabric
colours dyes are transparent - this means the base colour of the fabric affects the dye can come in both opaque or transparent, this means the fabric colour doesn't affect the painted colour.
fabrics all natural fabrics can be dyed with reactive or acid dye; polyester uses a different dye (difficult to handle due to the toxicity of the mordants used.) paints work on most fabrics, natural or synthetic; their application is straight forward and require very little setup or mixing;
finish quality no change to original fabric remaining residue does slightly diminish original fabric's luminosity and hand
fixation usually by heat in the form of dry/moist heat or a chemical activator usually by dry heat in the form of an oven or hand iron
flowability most dyes in liquid form flow quite easily over the fabric paints are a bit heavier than dyes slowing down the flow on fabric
hand of fabric since dyes bond with the molecules of the fabric, it does not affect the sheen or hand of the fabric; the dyes become part of the fabric paints leave an actual product on top of the fabric, therefore affecting the hand slightly; most new paints are indistinguishable from a dye but they still leave some surface residue.
safety most dyes in liquid form are relatively safe but there are dyes in powder form which requires mixing; the dust exposure from the dyes and chemicals can be of some concern most paints are waterbased, making them quite safe to use; they are also in liquid, ready to use form; the only concern when it comes to safety is the ammonia used in the paints; some paints have more than others
uses all direct painting, printing, screening, immersion are possible all direct applications are also possible; not an ideal product for immersion colouring







We are starting off with 100% cotton canvas bags, aprons and lunch bags. These three cotton canvas items are ideal for painting, stencilling or screening onto. The cotton bag is 14.5" x 18.5", and the lunch bag is a cute 8" x 5" with a convenient velcro strap.



 bag  $5.95
 lunch bag  $3.95
 apron  $6.50



Brand new fine gold, silver markers THAT DON'T BLEED!!! This is perfect for signing your name or creating accents on all your work. Unlike the Marvy markers that we introduced a few months ago, these pens are finer (.8mm) and don't bleed on silk. The gold and silver are also opaque, making them ideal for signing your finished work.

The line also comes in 10 transparent colours.

each $1.99


Children's T-shirts

Three sizes are available. They are 6-8, 10-12, and 14-16. They come in white and a few basic colours. Please inquire on colour availability. For other Shirts.

 each  $5.25
 by the dozen  $4.25/each


Simple and Elegant Brush Rest.

The perfect little accessory that adds just a touch of uniqueness to your work area. Made of fine bone china and imprinted with a dragon motif.

 each $4.25





Colour Fabrics

Over the past few editions, I have introduced and offered a wide range of fabrics for sale. Always pleasing one group of customers but disappointing others with the wrong fabrics to put on sale. This edition all coloured fabrics are selling at bolt price. What discount does that represent? Most of our bolt prices are from 10% to as high as 23% off the cut price. Please call us for colour availability and exact sale prices.


A few examples; 

 Regular  Bolt Price  Discount
 Crepe Back Satin 19mm 45" wide  $18.00  $15.00  >16%
 Habotai 8mm 45" wide  $ 9.00  $ 7.60  >15%
 Duppioni 16mm 45" wide  $15.00  $12.40  >17%
 Egyptian Cotton - Black 45" wide  $13.00  $10.00  >23%


Monthly SALES

These may only be monthly sales, but they are just as appealing as the fabric sales.

 January:  Pebeo Setacolor 20% off 45mL and 250mL sizes
 February:  20% off all marbling supplies and colours
 March:  Country Classic Acid Dyes 20% off



Colour Scarf Blowout!!!!!

Perfect for microwave dyeing!
   Regular  Sale
 H6 8"x48" beige only  $5.50  $2.00
 H8 11"x57" (see below)  $6.70  $3.00


Colours available: green, red (sold out), marine blue, baby blue, orchid pink.

Please note that some scarves have slight sun fading. See our regular white scarves also.


G&S Liquid Colours 

Introduced only 2 months ago, our new Liquid Colours are a great success. Many of our initial users have commented positively on the softness, brightness and flowability of the paints. We even had an international order from St. Lucia. He was so thrilled with the product he is sending us some samples of his work. See it in the "Customer Gallery" on our web site.


Along with the 100mL size, we have now added 250mL ($11.95) and 1.0L ($34.95) sizes to the line.


If you have any finished work using our Liquid Colours, we would love to see it and post it on the web site. Just contact Dixon at the Dundas Store.



Silk Painting Guild


In the last issue we mentioned that Rita and I were interested in starting up a silk guild. We actually plan to meet in late January or early February. If you are interested please contact us at

(416) 596-0550. If you had responded to the last edition of G&S News, we shall be contacting you for time, date and location of the meeting.




Framing is an essential part when direct application is involved. An evenly taut fabric aids in one's ability to accurately design and work. Special suspension tools can help save time and frustrations as opposed to pinning. By allowing the user to fully adjust the frame, it alleviates the need to build a separate frame for each size of work. A suspended piece also allows you to paint right to the edge of the fabric. Both these points are advantageous when it comes to working with fabrics and scarves.

The shown frame (Diagram 1) uses four L-shaped metal corners with two screws each to stabilize 1"x1" wood arms. By sliding the wood arms to the length and width required, you will be able to quickly change the frame size. The silk is attached using suspension hooks (Diagram 2). They are three prong hooks attached to the stretch bars with rubber bands. The hooks are very fine so they do not damage the fabrics.


A complete frame with all the corners (4), hooks (24), elastics (bag), and wood (78"x2, 55"x2) is $60.00. This frame can paint fabrics up to 45" x 60". You can always purchase longer pieces of wood to accommodate larger pieces later on.


Tips On Marbling


1) How to make your colours float well in marbling?

If colours sink into the size, the colours might be too cold, the base might be too thin OR the colours might require a little thinning.

To thin the colours add a few drops of Lissapol ND Soap into the Colourless Extender. Add this solution drop by drop into the colours and test until they start floating.

To make the marble base thicker, mix separately a very thick solution then add it to the thin solution. Do not add powder directly to the thin solution since it contains ammonia and the powder will not dissolve properly.

2) How to do the wave technique?

There are two ways to achieve the molten lava look. One is to lay the sheet of paper down in a gently waving motion instead of just straight down and the other is to get someone to rock the bath container while the paper is being put down.


by: Ann Read (NSCAD)


CLASS PROFILE: Dyeing Techniques Workshop


On January 25 and 26th, 1997 (correction from 24 & 25) we are pleased to announce a two day dyeing course with Betty Conlin. Students will start their dyeing experience by learning pertinent information about using and handling the dyes. We shall cover different immersion techniques for creating even colour distribution, colour gradations, mixing colours, mottled coloured, visual textures, over-dyeing, textural effects and discharging. All these techniques are hands on and multiple pieces will be completed.


Betty uses her fabrics for quilting and new information will be discussed on how to create spectacular fabrics that can become the focal point of a piece of artwork, a quilt or clothing.

For other workshops.

 Class  Former Date New Date
 T-shirt Screen Printing + Transfers  February 14 & 15  Sat. & Sun. February 15 & 16
 Marbling Class  January 19 January 18
 Heat Transfer on Fabrics  March 29  CANCELLED!!!



New Books


Introduction to Batik

Packed with practical advice and projects which will appeal to both the beginner and the more experienced.

This book simply illustrates how to create beautiful and original batik designs. It contains ideas for a wall hanging, and a selection of fashion garments including waistcoats, silk and cotton tops, shirts and silk scarf.


48 pages



Painting on Silk: Images of Africa

Create your own Images of Africa on silk with this stunning book.

All the designs, ranging from panels and cushions to scarves and clothing, are based on drawings of African wildlife and vegetation and there are full working instructions for each, including an easy-to-follow chart which can be enlarged to any size.



The Step By Step Art of Stencilling

Similar to the Silk Painting version, this project based book covers all the necessary tools, tricks and techniques to stencil onto fabrics, wood, drywall and many others items.

111 pages



The Step by Step Art of Silk Painting

This is one of the best beginner silk painting books I have seen. This full colour project based book covers all there is to know about painting with silk dyes or paints. Besides the usual techniques covered, there are numerous projects to make your own scarves, clothing, accessories pillows, pictures.

Includes all the patterns!

111 pages



Shibori: The Inventive Art of Japanese Shaped Resist Dyeing

We have started to carry the definitive book to this wonderful art of Japanese Shibori Dyeing techniques.

This book unleashes the potential for creating designs in textiles from the physical properties of the cloth. The simple fact that cloth tightly compressed into wrinkles or folds resist the the penetration of dye can be seen as an opportunity to let the pliancy of textiles speak in making designs and patterns.

303 pages





G&S NEWS is designed to be an
informative publication for Canadian textile artists.
A quarterly publication of G&S Dye and Accessories Limited.


Store Hours

Monday to Friday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am - 3:00 pm (retail outlet only)

Markham Office:

300 Steelcase Rd. W., #19
Markham, ON L3R 2W2
Phone:(905) 415-8559
Fax:(905) 415-8560

Retail Outlet:

250 Dundas St. W., #8
Toronto, ON M5T 2Z5
Phone: (416) 596-0550
Fax: (416) 596-0493