I mixed some up. It thickens dyes for printing, stamping and discharging. It’s made from seaweed. It’s very slimy and totally awesome. Here is the recipe.
There are two kinds -one for silk and one for cotton. All I have left is the one for cotton. It’s a bit thicker or something. Perfect for screenprinting on anything!
Mix 1/4 cup of urea with 1 quart of water.
Start with warm water, urea is liquid nitrogen I think, and makes the water cold. Urea holds moisture longer and helps with the batching process.
Put your urea water into a blender.
use a blender designated for your crafts, not your kitchen blender that you use for food.
While the blender is running slowly pour in 2 Tablespoons of Alginate powder. Run the blender and in a minute or two you will notice the blender making a kind of whirring sound. The alginate is mixed. Leave it in a container for a few hours or overnight until the alginate looks translucent and creamy. Now it is ready to mix with dye. I use procion and I soda soak my fabric before I print. Use twice as much dye as you would normally use to ensure bright colors in your stamps and prints.
This makes a pretty thick mixture, but you can always thin it with a little water later. Also the dyes will thin it. You can’t really mix dry alginate into water without a blender. It gets lumpy and crummy if you try. I have heard of mixing with alcohol first and making a paste and then stirring in water, but I have never tried this. I bought a really cheap blender at the pharmacy for $10 and that is what I use for all my chemical blending.
Rinse the blender out right away or you will have a mess on your hands!
I dyed these scarves on Friday and they are ready for printing stamping and discharging.