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 Dyeing Discussion
 Using Kool-Aid
 Need help to dye angora+merino yarn

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T O P I C    R E V I E W Posted - 02/10/2011 : 10:08:49 AM
I have some skeins of angora+merino yarn and I want to know if it is possible to dye the yarn using icing colours.
I have absolutely no experience on dying, so any advice or suggestion will be welcome.
Thanks a lot and friendly greetings from Brazil,
6   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First) Posted - 02/11/2011 : 03:19:58 AM
The idea for solar dyeing sounds interesting. I think I will try it while visiting a friend of mine who lives in a house with backyard. I live on the 13th. floor
The way you explained the technique was great. Let´s do an experiment.
Thanks a lot for your answer,
Grace Posted - 02/11/2011 : 03:10:30 AM
Thanks once more Milinda for your answer. The link is great and I will read the tutorials with attention. Their prices for acid dyes are not that bad and ship to Brazil.
Let´s see how far I will go with my first dyeing experience.
yarnlover Posted - 02/10/2011 : 6:44:13 PM
Since you are in "hot" Brazil, you could try solar dyeing. You can use food color, kool aid, icing dyes, like Wiltons, or commercial acid dyes. You would need to add acid to the first three types, white vinegar works well. Technically, all of these are acid dyes.

If you google "solar dyeing" you should find a lot of information. It is fun and easy to do. Since the angora felts so easily, this may be a good way to dye it since the fiber sits in the sun all day - no need to do agitation.

The trick to to this type of dyeing is getting the color through the fiber. Once you mix the dye, you can use a large syringe to squirt into the fiber, or use something like a pencil or chopstick and lift the fiber in layers and pour some of the dye on each layer. Whether you use one color, or more, the dye doesn't migrate much. The first time I tried it, I assumed the water would wick the color through the fiber but it didn't, so you need to place it where you want it. The color will drift some and make new colors where they meet, but not migrate through all the fiber. Another thing I learned is to keep the amount of fiber in each batch on the smaller size, maybe 3-4 oz. At least for me, if I put much more in a container, I have a harder time placing the dye. If you use plastic sweater boxes to dye in, lift each one up and look at the bottom to see if the fiber has color or is white. If white, you need to do more work on lifting the layers and adding color.

You can always try a little bit of fiber in a jar with some color and put it out in the sun in the morning. Check it in the evening - if the water is clear, the dye is done. I've left my fiber outside in the containers for several days if it took that long to clear the water, or if I was just too busy to take care of it, and had no problems. I haven't tried angora dyeing, so don't know much about dyeing that fiber, but a little experimenting will let you know if it works well.

I did a lot of solar dyeing last summer, both fiber and yarn and can't wait for our summer to be back to start again.

See My Stuff: Here

Milinda Posted - 02/10/2011 : 4:23:25 PM
Grace, I have not used the dyes personally that you speak of, but as I posted, some have told me it works. Here is a link to a site with really good information on dyeing.

I have used their dyes with great results and I think they give good step-by-step instructions. I do not see that you would ruin the angora fiber as long as you are very gentle and careful. Remember, agitating the fibers in hot water too much with any dye is going to cause felting so if you proceed with caution, I don't think you will have a problem.

The only thing I do know about using KoolAid is that often the colors are not fast in that you can get fading from light and washing. That is why I use acid dyes, for the colorfast nature.

M L Posted - 02/10/2011 : 4:04:57 PM
Hi Milinda,
Thanks for your answer. Here in Brazil I can easily find food dyes that come in powder form. Do you have any experience with that? I have been reading a few things about dyeing with Kool-Aid, but I could not find anything regarding this yarn blend. I read that merino is great for dyeing, but I have no idea what will happen to the angora bit. The yarn I got is very soft and I don´t want to loose this softness.
Kind regard from a hot and sticky São Paulo, Brazil.
Milinda Posted - 02/10/2011 : 12:37:19 PM
Welcome, Grace. While I have not used icing colors myself, I have heard that they work. I wish I could be more helpful but perhaps the others will know more about icing colors. I've used KoolAid and acid dyes so if you have any questions regarding dyeing in general, I can help you with that. Feel free to send me a private message and I can give you links to sites with good instructions and products. Good luck!


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