Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Easiest Dyepot Ever

 I admit to being a very slapdash dyer. But I got all these colours out of one dyepot, not too shabby! These are overdyes on various small pieces of wool reclaimed from old clothes and blankets, intended for rug hooking.

Once, I was a fastidious dyer. Then, I realized I wasn't in the business of creating reproducible shades, which freed me up immensely. Now, when I do a dye run, I put three or four mason jars in the canner, fill them half full with water and add a teaspoon of citric acid or a sploosh of vinegar. No salt. Then I mix my dyes from washfast acid dye powder, just going by eye and experience. The dye is added to the jars - here I had one jar lavender, one moss green, one blue, and then a fourth colour - forest green in the water surrounding the jars in the canner. I put the pot on to simmer, and stuff squares of pre-wet cloth into the jars. The take up happens quite fast, and if it looks like it will be darker than I hoped, I add more fabric to absorb the excess. I move the cloth around in the jars a bit, but it doesn't matter if the colour is uneven because it won't show up in the hooking, or if it does, will just add a nice variation of tone.

So the whole pot just simmers for about 45 minutes - I wait until the dyebaths clear, then give it another 15-20 minutes to make sure it's fixed. Then cool, rinse, throw in the dryer - more felting is good for hooking fabrics and I'm ready to go.

I was especially pleased by the darker mossy green near the bottom of the picture - it was an uninspiring dusty mouse colour before, now it's perfect for salal leaves.

1 comment:

  1. Overdyeing is so much fun, isn't it? I say do what works for you! And obviously it does. ;)

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