Posts Tagged ‘dyeing techniques’

So, there’s lots of different dyeing techniques…

Here are two that I read about on the Ravelry forums and would like to try at some point and don’t want to forget…

from Post #8 in the Stinky Wool thread (must be logged in to Ravelry.com from preceding link to work) on the Dying to Learn Dye! Restaurant group at Ravelry, Maddie writes (in regards to dyeing raw fleece):

… basically take a big canner pot and pack in your wool locks so that they are butt end up. I think you could do it either way, but that worked best so that the dirt fell down towards the tips, where most of the dirt is. You pack the locks tightly enough so that they don’t flop over and they stay intact. When you think it’s good, you take the fibers back out, and put in water the same height as the locks were. Add a healthy squirt of Dawn. This aides in wetting out the fibers, and also helps to clean them. Add a good half of a cup of vinegar. Re-insert the fibers. The water should come just up to the butt ends of the fleece, but no higher. Put on the stove, and start to gently heat the pot. DO NOT BOIL. If you boil, you can damage the wool, and it will be “crispy”. (You can guess how I know this. LOL) If it simmers you will also probably get what I call “the cone of bubbles”. It’s kind of like a volcano of bubbles. While you are heating, you take any powdered acid dye, I use Cushing, and sprinkle on the dye in a section. You can use about 4 colors, but 2 or 3 are better. Try to keep the dye in it’s own section. It will start to blend and overlap as it heats. I find that it’s really best to use colors that won’t muddy. For example, don’t use green and red; too much brown will result. It’s better to use blue and red and let the middle blend to purple. Heat to just under a simmer and keep it there for about 20-30 minutes. You can manipulate the dye a bit with the end of a wooden spoon or whatever other dye tool you use. Just try not to get a real liquidy puddle; the goal is to have the fiber packed in enough so that the water doesn’t shift a lot. When done “cooking”, take the whole pot out to the garage or outside. Leaving the lid on, put it on the cement to cool. Leave over night. In the morning the dye should be exhausted and now the whole thing is cool enough to rinse in cold water.

I asked whether she thought, instead of using powdered dyes it would be OK to use liquid base dyes instead. She replied that it would probably work, but she thinks that the powdered dye tends to stay in one place a bit more.

Here’s another interesting idea for making semi-solid kettle dyes, posted by mrslevite in Post #6 of the thread “Is it possible to make a semisolid while handpainting?” in the group “Love to Dye”.

For more solid semi-solids, kettle dye, adding color to the fiber or yarn before adding any heat or acid. Gently lift or move the the yarn or fiber to let the color reach all parts. Let it sit for a while. Then you can start adding heat.

I asked about when to add acid and she replied:

I bring it up to the temp for about 20 minutes or so – if I’m that patient – then add acid and keep it up to temp for 10-20 minutes longer – or until I remember to turn off the heat. I usually dye in the crockpot, so I don’t worry about cooking it too long.

I have resisted the whole crockpot thing for dyeing so far. Not sure if I will give in at some point…?


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