How Do You Dilute Dyes and Paints?

I am going to post a good question here that I recently received at Online Silk Painting Class.

 Question was: I have Dupont Silk Dyes, but am not sure how to dilute them. They didn’t come with any instructions. Your lesson says you use “your home made dilutant of 3 parts alcohol and 1 part water”.

Is this mixed with an equal ratio of dye? Or does it vary according to how concentrated you want the color?

I also have Dye-Na-Flow paint. Are there any guidelines for these?

Any information would be appreciated.
I am so glad I found your class online. Your instructions are very well written and I am enjoying your class very much. I hope you will consider doing an advanced class sometime in the future.

My answer was: That is great you have both steam set (Dupont) and heat set Dye-Na-Flow paints. Dupont dyes are highly concentrated. Some professional silk painters just dilute 50% water and 50% dye. They usually need some diluting the exception is black. You can dilute with water to the desired tint. I always drop about 1 teaspoon of my home made dilutant into about a third a cup of dye. Dupont also makes a dilutant see this link and has suggested amounts.

It seems to make solid large areas less streaky. I have some but do not really care for it that much. I think I enjoy the unpredictability of just adding water and a little home made dilutant. That is just my taste you may have a different taste. Dye-Na-Flow does not need to be diluted unless you want a lighter tint. That is the only reason to dilute. Again it is a matter of your preference. Regarding advance class in the future…I may do mini courses for certain techniques IE “Plein Air” painting with silks, different experiments in pre-treating silk, and so on. I hope that helps.

Have fun. Francine