Just a quick tip! If you want to dye your own wool rovings or pure wool yarns – this is the time to pick up CHEAP dyes!! Check out your local shops for their discounted Easter stuff! The color tablets from the DIY egg dying kits are ideal for wool dying!! They come with all sorts of other stickers and stuff – which can always be used somewhere! I just picked some up for 75% off – I hope there is some more when it hits 90% off!
The other day I thought I would try dying some wool with some really old coffee beans and some tea that I didnt like! So I googled it and figured out it is just like any other dye! But I will share with you!(I also dyed other wool using some BLUE food colouring – you will see in the pictures)
Get some warm water and add some vinegar. Put your wool in and let it soak for a while.
Make the dye bath. So take what ever it is, Coffee (from the coffee pot is the easiest) or Tea (steeped and strained) and add some vinegar (Vinegar acts as an acid so help animal fibres absorb colour). You may need to add some more hot water depending on the strength of the colour or amount of wool you are planning to dye.
Add the wool from the vinegar bath (try not to bring all the waterover by gently squeezing some out) and heat on the stove. Make sure your wool is covered. *Do NOT let your pot come to a boil – it can cause felting to the wool).
When the wool is at the desired shade (it may lighten once rinsed) take out, rinse in similar temp water slowly making cooler and spin in a salad spinner. *Some may wish to add a bit of soap for a soap rinse as well*
Lay out to dry in the sun. You will know it is dry when it is not cool to the touch.
NOTES and TIPS:
I noticed that the tea and coffee did not turn out as dark as I had hoped. I think that will differ from different types and strengths.
All the colour did not absorb like other dyes do, so that was not a sign of it being finished. I think I left it for 30 mins.
I found dying with onion skins MUCH easier… with a darker colour. BUT it didnt smell as nice 🙂
I dont know if I will do this type much. Although I think it will look AMAZING carded with my onion skin dyed wool and natural brown wool!!
I tried solar dying the other day and it worked GREAT! This is an wasy way to dye your fibres without having to keep watch of it on a stovetop. You literally jusy put aside and forget about it! Here are some instructions for those of you who might want to try it! (It works with both raw wool and yarn)
I used a few different mason jars – but any glass jar will do. It works best if you wet the wool/yarn first before putting it in the jar. Then add dyes, wool, HOT water, and vinegar in any way you like – I tried layering a few different ways and each time it came out differently. Really fun to It was awesome how there was different colours and varying depths. LOVELY!
I rinsed, spun in the salad spinner and left out to dry! Ready to become a wonderful skien of yarn!!!
The green and pink were done with with neon food colouring – the purple was with a fabric dye that I had laying around. Let me know if you try it!