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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Beautiful Day For Dying!

I have been meaning to do this for a long time but was waiting for the right weather. I purchased some acid dyes and some wool yardage and thought I might try my hand at dying some wool.  I have dyed cotton before but acid dyes are a little different. You have to soak them in a pot of dye solution heating and stirring until you get the desired color.  I got a hot plate from the cottage and set things up in the backyard.

Outdoor dying studio

Wool Before Dying
  I recruited my partner in crime (my daughter) and we went to work. She mostly tie dyed some of her wardrobe, but I went to work cutting up yardage into manageable pieces.
Katie, My Dying Partner
  I am taking a class with Sue Spargo in the spring and I have a very limited wool stash.  Wool dying is a little more labour intensive than cotton dying as you have to stir constantly if you want an even coloration. but well worth the effort.  I love the results!
First Batch
The Finished Product

  I even dyed some silk thread for embellishing.  I found the wool gobbled up the dye the fastest and the velvet color didn't get quite as saturated. In the next batch, I put the velvet in first and let it soak for 10 minutes and then put everything else in. That seemed to solve the problem.  The only thing that I wasn't happy with was the wool felt (one on the far right).  Not quite sure what went wrong.  It didn't take the dye evenly and it came out much lighter.  I even tried dying some on it's own full strength, still no difference.  I did the burn test and it seems to be wool, so I have a little more experimenting to do. At this point I think I have enough to get me started. 

Final Results
I am pretty happy with the results over all.  I even managed to do some cotton gradation dying as well.  If anyone has had better success with dying wool felt I would love to know what you do.

Bye for now....