12 April 2011

It's 6 AM....Time to Dye

I've had a few questions about dyeing recently so I thought I'd bring my basic dyeing tutorial up again for those who didn't see it when I originally published it....enjoy! I dye a lot of wool. I try to do a lot of other things too! Over the next few weeks I'd like to give you a glimpse of my basic dyeing process and, perhaps, share a few tips along the way. I use a variety of techniques in dyeing the wool that I sell on my website and this is just one, but it's good basic dyeing. So, let's get started..... Most of my dyeing is done in the early morning....about 6 AM. Oh! What's the most crucial item I need to get started on an early morning session in the dye pots???? Yes, you guessed it! It's that nice big cup of steaming hot coffee ( my favorite is Peet's Italian Roast...no wimpy Starbucks at my house). For a successful and efficient session of dyeing, planning is really the key. I keep a hand-written journal with a never-ending list of the colors that I need to dye. This helps me to plan the fabrics I need to soak and to be sure I have the proper dyes in stock. All of my dye formulas are stored on computerized worksheets. This is a big help in planning and record-keeping. Keeping good track of my formulas and any variations I may make in the formulas comes in so handy when I'm trying to recreate that perfect deep gold a customer bought a year ago who now wants another yard! I keep all of my dyeing implements, dye measuring spoons, wisks for stirring, Pyrex 2-cup measuring cups, citric acid, etc. all in one cupboard so that it's always within quick reach. Last night I got all of my wool soaking for the 5 colors I hope to get dyed this morning. 2 yards per bucket; 2 yards per color...... 5 big five-gallon painter's buckets with 10 yards of wool soaking overnight in warm water and Synthrapol. Many dye books suggest that soaking your wool for an hour or two is sufficient but I find that I get the best results when I'm patient and allow the wool a good, long soak overnight. There really is a difference in the way the wool absorbs the dyes. More in a day or two....

6 comments:

Plumruncreek said...

Marita~ I'm one of impatient people, I'm going to try your way next time.

Like Minds said...

I'm impatient also and never do a proper soaking. Hope you'll share your newly dyed colors...it's like eye candy to me!
Deb

Rabbit Hill Creations said...

Marita, how exciting to find your blog! I love seeing how you create all those beautiful colors of wool. I will definitely add your blog to my link list and visit often. Toni

BeFRuiTFuL said...

Marita oh yes that is a lot of wool to dye in one day. I am so excited to see the beautiful wool you come up with.

JoEllen

Gayle said...

Mmmmm......can't wait to see what you end up with - don't keep us in suspense too long!

Cotton Eyed Jo said...

Thanks so much for such a great tutorial. I hope to work up the courage to try dyeing myself, someday...