Sunday, March 13, 2011

Debbie Does Dyeing..........

Once upon a time, a young woman wanted to learn to spin. She bought lots of nice fiber, one of which was not dyed. It was her hope one day that she would learn to dye and create something beautiful.

Here is the story:

First she placed the beloved merino/mohair fiber into a vinegar and water soak for 30 minutes. She used 1 cup of vinegar to one quart of water.

While the soak was processing, she then took these extremely expensive, hard to get ingredients, along with the same sophisticated equipment and mixed up her lovely dyes (aka grape, lime, and orange kool-aid). She used one packet of kool-aid mixed with 2/3 cup of vinegar.

Once the soak was done, she drained as much water out of the pot until the water just covered the fiber and placed it on the stove until just under a boil. Water boils at 212 degrees and she used another sophisticated tool (meat thermometer) to get the water to about 135-140 degrees.

Using a serving spoon she carefully added the dye from the darkest to lightest in the pot. She didn't have to use a lot, as a little goes a long way (about half the prepared dye mixture). When she added the dye, she then put the heat down to medium, covered then simmered for 30 minutes.

After the 30 minutes was up, she used this sophisticated tool to drain some water out of the mixture. As you can see, the water is clear which means the fiber has completely soaked up the dye.

And here is the progress so far. It is now in the cooling stage. In about 2-3 hours, it will be rinsed out and laid flat to dry.


I would like to thank my friend, Mary, for giving me the inspiration to dye
and for for providing me with the videos for instruction.