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Looking to buy a good dye vat. Need help.

Discussion in 'Costumes and Makeup' started by SweetBennyFenton, May 13, 2019.

  1. SweetBennyFenton

    SweetBennyFenton Active Member

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    Location:
    Portland OR
    Hello all.

    I am happy to say that this summer my shop space will be renovated. Part of that renovation is the creation of a dye lab where people can work on dyeing and distressing without having to be in the Costume Shop. This lab also includes funding for a large dye vat. Problem is... I'm clueless about dye vats and my research is getting me nowhere.

    Does anyone have advice? Favorite brands? Vendors?

    I want to make sure the renovation includes the proper electrical and plumbing work to support the vat, so I'd love to find a vat before construction begins next month (if possible).

    Any help you could give would be very appreciated.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  2. teqniqal

    teqniqal Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Theatre Consultant
    Location:
    Dallas / Fort Worth, Texas
    Most dye vats in costume shop dye facilities are actually repurposed food service equipment--soup kettles, candy factory vats, etc. They come in a range of sizes for a range of different setups: gas heat, electric heat, steam jacketed, mounted on agitators, you name it.

    Manufacturers of kettles include:

    * Groen
    * Hubert
    * Hamilton
    * Dover
    * Vulcan
    * Lee

    more information at:

    https://labricoleuse.livejournal.com/38478.html and https://labricoleuse.livejournal.com/76739.html

    Additional accessories not mentioned in these posts is rubber boots and aprons because you don't want to splash any of the dye bath on your clothes or shoes.
     
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  3. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    @SweetBennyFenton and @teqniqal Everything already posted and PLEASE don't forget fabulous ventilation / fume extraction / personal respirators. I've NEVER been a dye person but often passed through their area of the basement in the Stratford Shakespearean Festival's main building back in the 1970's. From memory, I think I recall it was dying nylon fabrics and / or nylon wool that produced hazardous fumes to the degree that the dye girls posted signage advising all to clear the area then vacated themselves as much as possible. Possibly times and materials have changed. Definitely do your research while you've still functional lungs. Also from memory, I believe their main vats were heated by steam from the nearby boilers in a sub sub basement.
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard
     
  4. TimMc

    TimMc Well-Known Member

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    Look to the East and say "Alibaba.com" and search for "small dyeing machine". 1000+ hits, not all suitable but surprising selection.

    Or raid the cafeteria and "borrow" the steam kettle. And a few cups of steam. :D
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  5. SweetBennyFenton

    SweetBennyFenton Active Member

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    Thank you all for the good advice. I may have even found a used 40 gallon electric kettle locally.

    One thing I didn't think of (and has not been planned into the renovation) is a vent hood. I'll do some more research on that line.

    Thanks again.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  6. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    Erich: Hubert? Not Hobart?
     
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  7. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
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    Steam jacket best.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  8. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
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    The Opera might have a used one...There used to be one upstairs at that place we worked...
     
    RonHebbard likes this.

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