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Dying Thread


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I have been asked via a PM from Len about the use of Kodak 'Photo-Flo' and RIT dye for the coloring of line. 


I borrowed the idea from the online article by N. Roger Cole, Alert Provenence and Construction

(www.craftsmanshipmuseum.com/Cole.htm), that Greg Herbert. linked to.  Mr. Cole stated he obtained the colors of RIT from Walmart.  My two local stores don't carry it in their sewing departments.  I ordered the RIT colors from amazon along with the Kodak 'Photo-Flo', everything came from different vendors.


It seems that RIT has changed some of their colors, I couldn't find gold, only a yellow gold.  This is way too strong as yellow.  So I tested the mix until I obtained a good match to the Hemp color of Coats and Clark Dual Purpose polyester thread.  


Here is the blend  I came up with for running rigging:


          2 teaspoons of Tan

          1/8 teaspoon of pearl grey

          1/8 teaspoon of golden yellow

These are added to 16 ounces of hot water and mixed until dissolved.


Mr. Cole's blend for standing rigging looks to be on the chocolate side, I haven't as yet tried to correct this.  Here is His blend for standing rigging:


          1/2 teaspoon of Cocoa Brown

          3/4 teaspoon of Dark Brown

          3/4 teaspoon of Black

These are added to 16 ounces of hot water and mixed until dissolved.



The Kodak 'Photo-Flo acts as a wetting agent.  It comes in a 16oz. bottle. The directions call for 1 part of 'Photo-Flo' in 200 parts of warm water, I added half a capful to 16oz.of water, works just fine.  I put a 20ft. hank of line in the 'Photo-Flo' solution and let it sink to the bottom for 5 min.  Remove it, and while still dripping wet place it in the dye blend.  It only takes about twenty for the dye to work.  Remove it a place on paper toweling to drain and dry,  which I leave over night.



In a few days when I've done more rope making and testing I'll post some photos.


Hope this Helps


Bob W


Bob Wescott

South Jersey

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