Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Wondering Wednesday.... What Is Zeelon?

Ineke asked about Zeelon, so I thought I'd talk a wee bit about that today.  I wanted to take a picture of the lightest and heaviest weights, and decided that the best way to do that was to dye some... and that brought up Maggi's question about dyeing with Procion, and why it didn't work. 

Zeelon is made of nylon fibres, in exactly the same way as Lutradur is made (I talked about spun bonded fabrics and they way they are made in this post ).  It comes in three weights; light, medium and heavy.  I love Lutradur, and when I was sent a sample of the medium weight Zeelon, I wasn't overly impressed.  I didn't think it was all that much different to Lutradur.  Boy, was I wrong!  I didn't realise it until I handled the light weight.  Lutradur has a slight stiffness to it, and whilst Lutradur 30 is fine, it retains that slight stiffness.  Handling Zeelong light is like handling a very strong cobweb, with a slight sheen to it.  The heavier weight is also soft, but has a crispness about it that I find very attractive.  And Zeelon does still have the transparency that Lutradur is renowned for.

Zeelon comes in white, so to get a decent image, I needed to dye some.  I could have used transfer dyes, but the quickest way to get an all over colour is to use acid dyes.   Nylon dyes extremely well with acid dyes, as you can see above.  The colours are strong and true.  I gave instructions for dyeing with acid dyes in Exquisite Evolon; it is a very straightforward process.  So, can you dye it with Procion MX?  Well, yes, you can, but not with soda ash.  It is possible to use Procion MX with vinegar and heat, the same way as you use an acid dye.  There is a long standing argument about whether or not this gives good colour.  I have used both acid dyes and Procion MX dyes in this way, and have to say that I haven't noticed much of a difference in the overall results.  So if Procion MX is the only dye you have, you can use it to colour Zeelon.  For myself, I prefer to use acid dyes for nylons and silk, for the simple reason that that is what these dyes were designed to do.  But if I don't have a particular colour at home, and I do have some Procion, then I'll use that and not worry about it. 

Now, all I have to do is decide how to use these two bits of fabric... and remind you to ask me some more questions for the next Wondering Wednesday!


Maggi said...

Thanks for that advice about using the MX dyes with Zeelon Marion. I use citric acid rather than vinegar with acid dyes (much nicer smell) so presume that will work the same with the MX.

marion barnett said...


Angela said...

I stencilled the medium wight with Markal paint sticks with good results and also painted it with Setacolor Transparent after first using Ez-Batik on this piece here...
...I only use paints, not dyes and they work well for me :o)