Thursday, 10 June 2010

Dyeing wool with food colouring Experimentation

I dyed some more wool at the weekend using food colouring again. I wanted to have a go on some nice plain white sock wool after the attempt at dyeing the recycled sweater yarn. I got all inspired by the colours in Zauerball Crazy Tropical Fish which has lovely tones of blue-green, yellow, orange and red. The result was quite heathery in places which is not particulary what i was aiming for, i wanted graded colour but i didn't really want the dye to stick as quickly to the skeins as it did, leaving white sections.

Possibly it might be something to do with a few factors. this time there was

  • Much more vinegar than last time in the soak water
  • I don't think the saturation of the food colour in the water was as good
  • the amount of soak time the skein got was much less compared to when i dyed the jumper yarn

I'll be doing a lot more experimenting in the next couple of months with varying amounts of colouring, vinegar, soaking time to see what effect it has on the outcome of the yarn.

The method i used to dye these skeins is below.

I'm quite pleased with this skein but wish there wasn't so much heathering.

This skein is much too orange for my tastes. I like the orange but don't want the full skein this way. believe it or not this should have been orangey-red but that didn't exactly work did it. So i'll be dip dyeing a section a darker red. Maybe the dip dyeing will avoid the heathering.

How did I do it? Read on!

  1. Skein the yarn however you wish.
  2. Soak the yarn in 1 and a half litres of water mixed with half a litre of white vinegar in a bowl or bucket. Press down into the liquid until it's fully submerged. Make sure none of it is pokeing above the surface. Leave for 1 and a half hours.
  3. Prepare dye solutions as you fancy. I used about half a teaspoon of wilton colouring gel per 400ml water which was enough for the blue-green, but not for the red, hence the bright orange colour.
  4. See this post for the method of handpainting
  5. Steam for 60mins in a veg steamer
Next time i'll be having a go at dip dyeing!

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