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© since 1986 G&S Dye and Accessories Ltd
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 Volume 3, Issue 3

Summer 1998 

Message One Day Sale Dyeing Black Mailing List Rita's Adventures
Television Microwave Dyeing & Retayne Product Updates New Books


I would like to start this newsletter by welcoming all our new readers, especially those in South Western Ontario. It seems we have about 200 new readers who came by way of Jack and Gerry Pacquette. I know you'll enjoy this newsletter as many of the other 2500 readers have been doing for the past three years.

I'm really excited about this edition of G&S NEWS. I've announced more sales, discounts and free giveaways this time than ever before. Over the past five years since our move, we've become more responsive to you, our customers. We've added workshops, another location, started G&S NEWS, introduced hundreds of new items, provided more sales and most importantly, we continued to listen to what everyone wanted. I have never remembered a time in the past 11 years in business where our customers had a viable alternative to shopping in the US. For our new US customers, the current exchange has even made it cheaper to buy from Canada (currently $1.00 US buys about $1.50 CDN). I won't rest on our accomplishments and will continue to add exciting new products in the near future. Just keep reading G&S News and you'll be the first to hear about everything.

Take care and have a great summer



One Day Sale August 15

click here between Aug 9-14 for sale prices

I kind of forgot to announce many of our memorable milestones for G&S Dye. The most obvious was our 10th year anniversary last year. But this year marks 5 years since we moved to our two shops. It's a silly thing to celebrate, but it's just a reason to hold a sale. So on Saturday, August 15, we shall have a one day markdown sale at our Toronto shop. Everything will be on sale!!!!

For mail orders, please contact us the week of the sale (Aug 10-14) and sale prices will be announced to you by email, fax or on the phone. Please call in your order FRIDAY ONLY to receive sale prices. All mail orders placed on Saturday WILL NOT qualify.

For those with web access, check out the web page that will be posted in August;

Monthly Sales

July: All new circle cards 15% off (see new products)

August: Buy 4oz of FibreEtch for $7.50 (reg. $14.95) when you purchase at least 1 yard of silk/rayon velvet in white or black ($25.00/yd)



The Colour Black

I am sure everyone has a pair of black jeans or top that over the years has started to fade. The first instinct for everyone though is to run down to the local drug store and pick up a pack of dye (usually Tinfix or Dylon). After procrastinating for a few days, weeks or years, you finally get around to dyeing. You mull over the instructions, procrastinate a few more hours and then you say to yourself "let's get it done!" So you spend the next 30-60 minutes stirring and following the instructions to a tee. After the hour, you are covered in black dye. Your current clothes are stained and your hands are soiled. You finish dyeing the jeans and dry them. You stand back and admire the great job the dye has done. A smile comes across your face.

A month later after a few washings, you look at your jeans and have a feeling of deja vu (please go back to top of article).

So how do we stop this vicious cycle? Do it right the first time! We currently have the perfect dye in Procion MX. Many of our readers know about Procion MX dye because they either tie-dye or dye for quilting. By using our Procion MX dyes instead of drug store brands, you'll be able to dye once and admire the job for a whole year.

It cost exactly $7.01 after tax for a small jar (25gm) of Cotton Black MX702 dye and a small pack of fixing agent (60gm of sodium carbonate). That's enough to recharge a pair of jeans or a couple of T-shirts. It's a small price extra to pay (Dylon and Tinfix costs about $4-5) to have it done correctly the first time. I cannot assure that you won't procrastinate and push off dyeing your jeans after buying the dye, but I know that you'll be back to buy more dye to recharge your whole wardrobe.


Mailing Lists


I must thank all our readers who over the past year have renewed their free LIFETIME subscription to G&S NEWS (just keep me posted if you move). It has been great to receive all the letters, cards, emails and phone calls.

Currently, about half of our readers have confirmed their subscription. My goal is 100% by the end of the year. So when you have a moment or on your next order could you please remember to drop a quick word whether you would like to continue receiving G&S NEWS. As an incentive to confirm your subscription NOW, we shall be drawing for an AirPen, valued at $120.00 in August. Winner will be drawn from the list of confirmed subscribers to G&S News.

Don't forget email either. Besides the cost savings, there are great exclusive sales and promotions. If you aren't currently on the email list, don't suffer from email envy, switch over!


Rita's Adventures

by Rita Lange

Over the years I have had extensive use of three types of dyes (Dupont, Procion H and Pebeo Soie). I've found that there are some similarities and some distinct differences between these three. Dupont dyes, the "Black Sheep" of the group has a misconception that they are non-toxic. Although the labels (written in French) give no indication of being toxic or non-toxic, my experiences have found the fumes given off to be very overpowering. Fumes also originate from the diluent that you use (50% alcohol & 50% water). Even with this safety concern, the colours are extremely bright, even when using it thickened. Dupont is also lightfast but not as strong as Procion H or Pebeo Soie. Dupont is set by steaming. Requiring at least 3 hours for all colours. For darker colours it'll require 5-6 hours steaming. There will be a bit of colour loss when initially washed depending on the colour. They are quite expensive but are perfect for a professional artist, designer or painter who wants extremely bright colours.

When handling these dyes, I always wore an organic vapour mask and gloves. I have spoken to other designers that did not wear any protection and they found they had side effects involving headaches and abdominal pains.

The other two dyes (Procion H and Pebeo Soie) give off no toxic fumes and dilute with water. With the Procion H dyes, I find the colours to be very soft and brilliant (and economical). They need less time to set (about an hour) and can withstand sunlight for the first couple of years. Even though they set, Procion H dyes lose a bit of colour during the initial rinse out after steaming, more so than Pebeo Soie and Dupont. I found using Retayne does decrease it a lot. Another characteristic unique to Procion H is that there is more movement of colour during the steaming process. The paper will pick up a lot more dye increasing the chance for spotting during steaming. Items dyed with Dupont or Pebeo Soie leave very little dye on the newsprint and emit very little exhaust during rinse out.

Pebeo dyes are the ultimate dyes to work with. They're non-toxic and very bright. They are also light fast and wash fast. They do require at least 3 hours of steaming for best results (I steam for 5). However they are the most expensive of the three dyes. I have been using these dyes in my own business.

Shelf life varies and I strongly recommend writing dates on all bottles. Procion H should be used within the first year after buying. I have older Procion H that still work though, but the darker colours are the ones you should look out for, as they weaken the quickest. For Dupont and Soie, test if older than one year but they should be fine for years. If you have older stock, remember to do a quick test before starting a new piece. You will know that your colour has gone bad when you get darker and lighter areas or excessive exhaust.

Have fun painting!
Rita Lange is a graduate of Ontario College of Art and Design majoring in Surface Design and specializing in Silk Painting. Upon graduation, she has painted professionally for fabric design houses as head designer and painter or through contract work. Recently this year she started her own design company (Campagnaro Silk Designs). Her work can be seen in fine hotel gift shops accross Canada or soon to be Chapters Bookstores (aka Canada versions of Barnes & Noble or Borders).

Travelling Workshops

All these great roads and only so much time. I have had a great response from a lot of individuals to my offer for travelling workshops this summer. A few groups have even signed on (Haliburton this past June, London in July and Windsor in early fall). These workshops are set up for groups or organizations who are a bit far to make it to Toronto for a couple of days during our regular winter sessions. That is why I'm bringing the workshop to you.

For those individuals who aren't able to gather enough participants, a good idea would be to find your local craft or quilt guild association. Most guilds run workshops from time to time and would be more accessible. Maybe you'll be able to then find enough participants in the guild for me to come down and run one or more of our workshops.

I'd still love to hear from individuals if they are still interested, especially if willing to host. Currently I have had some interested parties in Ottawa, Virginia, Ohio, Florida and Michigan. A few more participants in some of these areas is all it'll take.




Appearing on Life Network's Sue Warden Craftscapes in the near future are two dear friends, Betty Conlin (Dyeing for Quilting) and Rita Lange (Batik Dyeing). They follow in the footsteps of Audry Granthom (Marbling on Fabrics) last year. Including myself (Eye on Toronto), that makes 4 people who'll haved experienced their 15 minutes of fame. I'll keep you posted on the airing dates in the next newsletter when they are announced.



Microwave Dyeing and Retayne

Over the past years we have simplified the dyeing process by using the microwave to aid in the creation of unique and exciting scarves. Our Mother's and Father's Day workshops in schools (Grades 2-13) over the years have been a smashing success. Every year I seem to teach more and more kids.

The microwave can also be used to help speed up the process for tie dyeing or any dyeing where you are using the batch setting method (direct application). Instead of batch setting for 48 hours, just pop the item in a microwaveable bag and into the microwave on high. Microwave cottons for 5 minutes and silks for 3 minutes. Take out, cool and rinse with Retayne Dye Fixer. That's it! You've just saved yourself a day or two.

Retayne Dye Fixative

Colour fixative for dyed cotton fabrics. A liquid chemical to permanently fix the colours. It can be also used to help fix stubborn dye runoff for Procion MX dyed fabrics. A 120mL bottle fixes around 25 yds.

 120mL  $ 5.00
 500mL  $17.00


Products Updates

Hybrid "Milkies" Pens

New colours to our best selling line of pens for fabric or paper. Hybrid Pens originally were developed for paper but we found through testing that the inks used were wash fast once ironed. The current line consists of 10 transparent colours plus 2 semi opaque gold and silver being the most popular. The 7 new colours that we just added are the new line of semi-opaque pastel colours.

Note: On paper they are fully opaque with one pass but due to the absorbent nature of fabric, we notice it took a few extra passes to become fully opaque.

 white  milky yellow  milky blue  milky orange
 milky pink  milky green  milky violet  

New Chinese Brocades

Our most popular black dragon patterned fabric is back and along with blue, green, gold and red colours. In total, we have around 30 patterns. To order a swatch, please send $5.00 and we'll send you a set right away. We gratefully will send any new styles when they are in. Just drop us a call from time to time to request them.

Circle Cards


It seems that our announcement that the new circle cards were available was premature (see G&S News - Spring '98). Troubles in production has delayed us in getting stock. I do apologize for the delay. We expect them to arrive in late July.





I was recently surprised to hear that Pebeo has discontinued some colours from the Setacolor Fabric Paint line. We have been the number one fan of this product and sad to report that the following are cancelled. Please note that ONLY the 250mL & 1.0L sizes are affected. The 45mL size in all colours are still available.

250mL Sizes
 OP16 Mouse Grey  OP53 Chamois
 OP55 Greengold  FL31 Fluo. Yellow
 FL32 Fluo. Orange  FL33 Fluo. Pink
 FL34 Fluo. Green  FL35 Fluo. Blue
1.0L Size
 OP16 Mouse Grey  OP25 Sienna
 OP51 Sanguine  OP52 Fawn
 OP53 Chamois  OP54 Duck Blue
 OP55 Greengold  OP56 Oriental

NEW Books

Dyeing To Quilt $35.95

This book introduces two dyeing methods - one for solid colours and one for mottled effects. Both can be done in minutes, in a workspace as small as a card table. This book provides a lot more examples, projects and variations than Hand Dyed Fabrics Made Easy (still a great starter book though).

Blueprints On Fabric, by Barbara Hewitt - $23.95

This is a surprisingly simple process by laying feathers, flowers, lace, photo negatives or almost anything you can think of on treated fabric, set it out in the sun for a few minutes and then rinse the fabric in plain water. Very similar to the sun printing technique used with Setacolor (G&S News Spring '97).

Craft Of Natural Dyeing, by Jenny Dean - $19.95

Expert dyer Jenny Dean shows you how to dye at home, using simple equipment. There is helpful advice on the mordanting process that will fix the colours, guidance on light-fastness, plus instructions on how to use traditional dye stuffs such as woad, indigo, weld and madder. A little less information than Natural Dyes and Home Dyeing, but the colour photographs make this a much more useful beginner book.


Art Of Batik: Flowers & Landscapes by Mary Taylor - $22.95

By 'painting' on cotton with melted wax and dyeing the fabric repeatedly with cold-water dyes to build up a wide range of colours, the most beautiful designs can be created, from flowers to sophisticated landscapes as subtle as any painting. Same publisher as our other batik book, Introduction to Batik, this book provides more detail on how to create unique scenarios while still covering the basics.

Dyes And Paints
by Elin Noble - $54.95

This comprehensive handbook covers all the fundamentals of dyeing and colouring fabric with Procion MX fiber-reactive dyes and with textile paints. Many of the techniques can also be adapted for yarn, ribbon, paper, basket reed and even wood. Another kaleidoscope of dyeing techniques, but I think Elin's strength in using Procion MX dyes is demonstrated, as the majority of this book deals with different uses with dyes.

Transforming Fabrics; by Carolyn Dahl - $45.95

The fourth comprehensive book introduced this year. Besides the usual dyeing, marbling, screening segments, this book teaches about Shibori (Japanese tie-dye), Gyotaku (fish printing), background washes, devore (burn-out with Fibre-Etch), stencil stitching, braiding and compression techniques. One very cool technique is the rain patterning. This technique harnesses the rain. I think this book really stands out, if you are looking more for patterning with dyes instead of paints

How To Print T-shirts for fun and Profit - $62.95

The most complete reference work on printing T-shirts. Learn how to create artwork, how to print detailed prints on all types of shirts and how to market them and make money. T-shirts are at the forefront of screen printing so although geared to a T-shirt business start up, you'll find the techniques very relevant for all types of printing. Schematic for building 4 colour press and light table included.

Fabric Dyeing And Printing, by Kate Wells - $59.95

Carefully guides you through the choices of fabrics, the vast range of dye recipes and the profusion of printing techniques. With patterning options detailed in step-by-step photography, this book enables you to work through more than thirty key techniques. Again which would you choose? Complex Cloth or this one? Both are equally detailed, but it comes down to personal preference.


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G&S News - Summer '98 {date}