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 Dying Wool

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PostSubject: Dying Wool   Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:55 am

Ok..you've felted your wool and you'd like to dye it? There are various ways to do it. first of all..use utensils and containers that you WILL NOT use for food later. Keep your dying supplies separate. We'll look at Kool-aid..Rit dye and Dylon. There are other brands and other kinds of dyes. These are what are the most readily available. I can't stress this enough: PUT ON A GOOD PAIR OF RUBBER GLOVES. If you use thin latex, they will tear and your hands will be dyed. Also..don't plunge your gloved hands into the dye pot so deep that the dye will get in at the wrist. First Wet your wool no matter which of these dyes you will be using. It allows the dye to go into the fibers. Place your dye powder in the container you will be using to dye in and add HOT water to dissolve. A long handled wooden spoon is a great item to stir with. I have off white wool that I want colored and I'm going to "over dye" some wool that I want a different color from what it is.
http://s381.photobucket.com/albums/oo255/ann_champion/th_DyingWool006.jpg
http://s381.photobucket.com/albums/oo255/ann_champion/th_DyingWool007.jpg



Add just enough water to cover the fabric you will be dying. You don't want to dilute it any more than you have to. First I used Kool-aid...two packs to an old Kool-aid jug I don't use any more. Add the wet wool piece..in this case I used one pant leg. Stir it around and smush it with your wooden spoon. Let it set until the water turns clear and the dye is in the fabric. If you try this I think you'll find it interesting! The drawback..you mostly end up with very bright colors. You can get creative and mix colors though. I dyed 3 pieces. I liked the orange but the green went into my olive green dye pot later..and I over dyed the purple to a richer color..with black cherry flavor.
http://s381.photobucket.com/albums/oo255/ann_champion/th_DyingWool009.jpg
http://s381.photobucket.com/albums/oo255/ann_champion/th_DyingWool003.jpg

Next..I over dyed some pieces. I had a grey hound's tooth I wanted brown. I put the Rit dye in the dye pot and added HOT water to dissolve. I added the wet wool and stirred for a bit. If you stir constantly you will get a more even dye. If you let the wool just sit it will end up a little more mottled, which is desired by most dyers.

http://s381.photobucket.com/albums/oo255/ann_champion/th_DyingWool005.jpg



Then I took several pieces and mixed a couple of different orange dyes I had. I wanted a variety. I'm happy with how the oranges turned out.
http://s381.photobucket.com/albums/oo255/ann_champion/th_DyingWool001.jpg

And now we come to the Dylon dye. It comes as a powder too. I added 2 packs of olive and the color was pretty weak. I went in search of more dye and added it. I ended up with a nice color..sorry no pics of that. I found that if you want deep or rich colors it's best to soak your wool in soda ash before dying. This is available at Hobby Lobby and Micheal's that I know of locally. It allows the wool to take color better.


I use this method when I can't find the colors I want. It seems like an awful lot of the wool skirts/pants I find are red, black, or cream.

I should add..you want your fabric to be 100% wool. A mix of synthetics don't felt well.
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