I have been wanting to try using citric acid instead of vinegar to prepare silk scarves for dyeing, and finally did some experimenting yesterday. I had a few scarves I had purchased for a class earlier this year that I never got around to using, so I decided to try them. Two were Habotai, one was silk satin. I tied and dyed the silk satin, but wasn't thrilled with the outcome.. not because of the citric acid... because I didn't apply enough dye and there was too much white remaining. The next one, a long habotai, I soaked in the citric acid solution, scrunched up on a piece of plexiglass, then applied 3 dye colors using an eye dropper. Then I sprinkled on some rock salt and let the scarf set for awhile before gently placing in a zip lock bag and nuking for about 2 minutes. That one worked very well:
I tried this technique of dyeing on cotton earlier this year, and was pleased with the results, but had not thought to try it on silk until now. Needless to say, I will be doing more like this! Now I'm trying it on another long scarf of silk satin... the markings aren't so pronounced, but I still like it. However, I do think I will need to get some more Habotai scarves to play with as well!
The good news is, citric acid has no odor.. the vinegar darn near drove my hubby out of the house when I used it to pre-soak the silk, so harmony has been restored to our happy home!