Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dye Your Wool- Easy Peasy Tutorial

Dying your wool at home is easy! You'll be shocked at how easy AND how fragrant it is. I promise. The colored wool in the photo are pieces of an old white sweater that I dyed using this process. Using an off white wool bit, as shown in the pan will result in less bright, and more neutral colors.

All you need is
  • a pan big enough to cover the wool with water
  • wool (this can be any sort of wool, like yarn, or loose wool to needlefelt, or a piece of an old sweater that you'd like to make into something else)
  • powered drink mix (I do not endorse or suggest drinking this stuff, but it makes wonderful dyes! It's not going to be sticky because we do not add sugar.)
Let's dye!
  • Estimate how much water you will need to cover your wool piece. Pour water and dye powder into the pan and mix with a metal spoon (does not absorb dyes or stain). Red dye is the strongest so you need only one packet. Orange might take two. Yellow is very pale so use 3-4 packets. You can always add more or re-dye later if it's not bright enough.
  • Plunge the wool in and press with the spoon until it's good and wet.
  • Gently warm the wool and water over low ish heat. Do NOT boil the water during this process.
  • Stir from time to time. It smells nice. Soon the wool will absorb the dye and the water will get either clear or less colored.
  • Plop your dyed wool into the kitchen sink and discard the left over water. Rinse the wool to get rid of any extra dye, squeeze and lay it out to dry. Easy!
Color mixing ideas: You can mix colors like usual. If you want to neutral out a color, add a sprinkle of the opposite color. You can get mixed colors and special effects by adding the wool to the water first, and sprinkling the dye right onto the wool. Press the wool into the water but don't mix too much. Don't use weird powered mixes that "change colors" unless you like surprises.

Write and tell me how your woolie projects turned out!
xo xo xo

1 comment:

The Caffeinated Crafter said...

Haha. I just wrote the same thing in my blog on Sunday. :)