Silkdyes can be divided in three categories.
1. iron-fix dyes
2. steam-fix dyes
3. fiber-reactive dyes
The easiest of the silkdyes is the iron-fixation dye.
Paint the silk - when dry, iron it on the reverse side for 1 or 2 minutes with medium temperature.
Wash it gently in luke warm water, (especially when salt is used) and iron it again.
However, the chemicals in this paint, although very easy to iron-fix, make your silk slightly thicker, less luster and somewhat less soft.
The next is the steam-fix dye.
Excellent silkdyes are Dupont, Arasilk, Ateliers Creatief Kniazeff, Scherning, Uhlig.
Most of them are very concentrated, which means you can dilute it at least 100% with water. So it gives you more dye for the same price.
Steam silkdye was the original dye, intended for silk.
After steaming for 3 hours in a fabric-steamer, or 10 minutes in a pressure cooker - (only for small pieces of silk!!), the colour is intense, with full luster and as soft as silk should be.
Rinse in luke-warm water, add a little vinegar, a few drops of fabric softener, and iron.
When the fixing process is done the right way, no dye will "bleed" afterwards.
Fiber reactive dye is excellent for silk velvet.
It can easily be sprayed on, several layers are advisable.
It should be diluted 1 part dye, 3 parts water, 1 part fixative.
If you cannot get hold of Reactive Dye, you can use Steamfix Dye for the same results.
Afterwards when the silk is dry, it can be steamfixed for 30 minutes* or even better: I put the silk in a oven dish and "bake" it for 10 minutes on 160 degrees C, covered with a piece of aluminum foil.
Take it out of the oven, let it rest overnight and then rinse it, first in rather hot water, gradually adding more cold water, until no dye is visible in the rinse-water.
Do not worry when at first a lot of color comes off.
There will be more then enough in the velvet to keep its luster.
To obtain its original velvet feeling, you may use a dry-tumbler for a few minutes and then it goes in the clothes-dryer for about 20 minutes,depending on the size of the velvet.
Hang it out overnight and your creation is ready.
* After steamfixing your silk, it should follow the same process of rinsing in hot water, adding gradually the cold water,in the dryer for 20 minutes and letting it rest for 24 hrs.