Monday, February 8

Dyeing wooly stuff!

I promised to share info on dyeing wooly stuff in my next post. Sorry it took me so long to get to my "next post". I posted about dyeing wool last summer and you will find that post here.
I've had requests that I do it again and am doing it in more detail this time. Here goes........

Assemble your supplies.............I used Dylon fabric dye which can be found at Michael's, JoAnn's, etc. You will need table salt, a tablespoon, and rubber gloves.You may also use liquid dyes and Rit dye works well, too.

Next, gather your fabrics. From left to right in the photo above.........
100% Wool Woolfelt, white woolfelt blend, then the next three are 100% wool ivory cashmere wool, a thinner wool with a weave, ivory wool from Italy (purchased from the Amana Woolen Mills) and the last is a beige wool blend fabric.

I bag my fabrics before washing. Several years ago, I lucked into a great find at the Dollar Tree store............divided mesh laundry bags. I bought four for myself and twenty more to give as gifts in our favor bags at retreat that year (2003). They work great for washing fat quarters and small bundles of fabric. No more tangled fabric in the washing machine!!

You just need to a "quick wash" and I use only a tiny bit of detergent. You want your fabric damp when dyeing. And here it is.......washed and ready to dye!
Next step is to prepare your dye bath. Because I am dyeing small amounts I don't follow the package directions. Instead, I fill my bucket with about a cup of warm water and add a tablespoon or two of the powdered dye and then a tablespoon of salt. I'm not sure what the purpose of the salt is but it says to use it on the package, so I did. :-)

Fill another pan or bucket with more warm water and add the dye mix, stir well.

Do not drop your stir stick in the dye bath like I did. LOL!

With the dye ready, you can wad your fabrics up in to balls, secure them with rubber bands................and then

drop them carefully into the dye bath. It says on the package to use a stainless steel sink for your dyeing projects. I have a white laundry room sink, so I lined it with heavy duty foil to catch my overspray and then cleaned the sink really well as soon as I was finished.

Stir the balls of fabric around and then leave them for about 45 minutes. You can stir them every fifteen minutes.

I have even left them to sit overnight as I am not looking to obtain any particular color. I'm just looking to dye wool so I have lots of fun shades for wooly projects.

When you are finished dyeing the fabrics, remove the rubber bands carefully and rinse fabrics well. You can see that the color is a bit "mottled" and that was the effect that I wanted.
In the photo below, you can see the varied colors that I achieved and it all started with Bahama Blue. Tomorrow, I'll post a photo of the wool when it is dry, pressed and ready to use.
Dyeing is messy but it's fun to see the colors you can achieve with just a few supplies. The best part is getting colors that you discover will be just perfect for a particular wooly project you might be working on!!

Snow is falling steadily outside. Looks really pretty, but I think we might have had enough. I find myself fighting a cold or something, just a "wee bit under the weather". LOL! Or else maybe it's caused by the weather! I think I need some sunshine and I don't see any on the horizon for quite some time.
Lights out for tonight.


Pieced Pastimes said...

What a wonderful tutorial! I may just have to give this dyeing a try! Thanks so much.

Owl Lady said...

You explained it so well with good pictures that I believe I could dye some wool myself - excellent tutorial.

Pat said...

If our roads ever get in driveable condition again (*sigh*), I need to get some dye and try this....with the nice white wool I won during your recent WB retreat. Are you using just old plastic containers to hold the dye bath? I"m assuming if you wash them well after finishing, they can be used with a different color the next time you use dye???

Kathy said...

I enjoyed your post on dying wool. Thank you for your informative tutorial! It will be a helpful reference.

Needled Mom said...

The results are so varied and beautiful.

I am so sorry to read of your fall. Ouch! I hope you are feeling better by now. I love the self portrait! Too cute.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Oh my gosh, what a process. I am not sure I'd be this brave. Lots a work Sandi!

TricĂ´ da Minie said...

I enjoyed your post! It´s very, very interisting!


Micki said...

What a wonderful tutorial. I don't have th place or time to do it, but I enjoyed seeing it.

Joy said...

Wow Sandi, that looks like great fun!! Look at all the different shades you got just from one dye with all those different wools. I'll have to give this a try :o)!!
Joy :o)

Vivian said...

I enjoying reading about the dyeing process. Looks like fun, but I'm not brave enough to try it, even though your tutorial is excellent.

Judy C said...

thanks for the tutorial, I think I can do this, now all I need to do is stock up on wool.
The process seems easy enough and the colors are yummy.

Thanks again

I Purr-Furr to Craft said...

what a wonderful post! Love it love it love it! looking forward to seeing the results when they are all dry.

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Great tutorial Sandi! Maybe when I get more wool, I will give it a try.

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