At room temperature, baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, cannot be used as a replacement for soda ash in tie-dyeing. While there will be some reaction, the resultant colors will be significantly weaker than if soda ash is utilized. Soda ash is more superior. It has a higher pH level which allows it to react with the dye molecules better than baking soda.
However, you can use baking soda in place of salt for various craft and cooking projects. It has many uses beyond just being useful for washing clothes!
And what has this got to do with tie dye? The most crucial thing to know about soda ash, also known as sodium carbonate, is that it may assist prepare the fibers of your cloth to better absorb dyes and hence yield brighter results. Use only non-toxic food-grade colors when doing tie dye! There are many different types of dyes used in tie dyeing including natural products such as plants or minerals, synthetic chemicals, and mixed sources such as recycled fabrics. Regardless of which type you choose, do not use any color that is likely to be toxic to children or pets.
Soda ash may seem like a luxury ingredient, but it is necessary for the formation of a stable bath when dyeing with copper compounds. If you don't have access to soda ash, use regular salt instead. But if you can afford to spend a little more money, then by all means, get your hands on some good old-fashioned soda ash.
You can find recipes for making your own soda ash at the below links: sugar free soda ash recipe - homemade sweetened soda ash that's safe for dyed clothes and foods, without any additives or artificial flavors. And one even uses potato starch as a replacement for cornstarch which is much cheaper!
Potato starch is made from potatoes and is used as a thickening agent and stabilizer.
My acquaintance once dyed cotton using Procion MX colours without using any soda ash at all. So she steeped the thing in soda ash, similar to how you would conduct a presoak before tie-dying. One-third to one cup of soda ash per gallon of water can be used. The color will not be as vibrant without the soda ash, but it can still be useful for certain effects.
Procion dyes are available in many colors and shades, which allow them to be used in a variety of techniques. They can be used with acid dyes for colored stripes on white cloth or even solid colors. They can also be used with mordants to create metallic effects or with bleach to make purples, blues, or greens. Although most people think of dyeing fabric when talking about tie-dying, anything from socks to jackets can be tied/die-cut. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination!
There are several things to consider when choosing where to buy your supplies. You will need a machine to run all of the different types of dyestuffs. Some companies sell kits that include everything you need to get started, while others may require you to order various parts separately. It is important to purchase quality equipment because you will want the best results possible. It is also helpful if the company you buy from has good customer service; should you have any problems ordering through their website, they will usually help you out.
Many varieties of fabric dyes require the use of soda ash to "fix" the dye, whether you are producing a tie-dyed garment or simply changing the color of cloth. By altering the pH values of the dye, soda ash makes the die permanent. Sodium silicate, sometimes known as liquid glass, is a suitable substitute for soda ash. It can be used in equal amounts with soda ash and produces similar results.
Soda ash is a white crystalline solid that contains sodium carbonate and water. It is used as a base in washing machines, around kitchens to make soft drinks and dishwashing liquids, and in detergents. Soda ash is available worldwide and is used as a food additive in some countries.
Sodium silicate is a grayish-white powder that is used in the manufacture of glass, ceramics, and chemicals. It is less expensive than soda ash but has a lower boiling point (about 200°C or 392°F).
Silica gel is a porous material that can be used as an adsorbent and storage medium. It comes in sheets or blocks and can be used alone or as part of another product such as wallboard or flooring. Silica gel is made by heating silicon dioxide to high temperatures in air or oxygen; then cooling it down slowly so that it does not fracture. The resulting material is 99% air and 1% silicon dioxide.