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 Dyeing Discussion
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 New to dyeing yarn
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MichelleKS
New Pal

45 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2003 :  07:03:09 AM  Show Profile  Visit MichelleKS's Homepage Send MichelleKS a Private Message
HI! I have recently acquired some yarn that has not been dyed. It is a wool, cotton and silk blend. I know that different fibers take the dyes differntly. I was wondering if anybody has some suggestions for a brand of dye or technique that would lend itself well to this blend of yarn.
I have never dyed yarn before, so this is an experiment for me. It is a fingering weight yarn, about 1/2 lb skein. I only paid $10 for it, so it is a risk I am willing to take if it doesn't turn out. I am interested in possible making it a multi-colored yarn too.
Thanks for any help or suggestions!

Michelle

Phaedra28
Gabber Extraordinaire

485 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2003 :  10:33:39 PM  Show Profile Send Phaedra28 a Private Message
Whoohoo! Now I've finally got some company! Good for you, and wait until you realize the possibilities!

First things first: dying cotton and dying wool/silk are two separate animals, so the yarn *will* be multi-colored, if shading counts I usually use Procion dyes, which are fiber-reactive. Dharma Trading Company has a full line, but many other sources have them, too. Since the yarn is a blend, with both plant and animal fibers, the mordant you use will be a big question mark -- I'd ask the place where you buy the dye. For wool/silk/mohair, I use vinegar; for cotton/rayon, I use soda ash. I don't quite know what you're going to want to use for the blend of both types of fiber -- all I can say that if it were my decision, I'd probably use vinegar for mordant, which should leave the cotton lighter than the animal fibers.

Dying plant fibers with fiber-reactive dyes is easy: mordant, dye, fiber, time = lovely results. Dying animal fibers is a little more complex, because you need to use heat. It's all a question of opening the fibers so they can grip the dye. Heat will not allow the cotton to catch the dye, though, in my experience -- which is quite limited. Again, if I were doing this, I'd soak the yarn in vinegar for about an hour, squeeze out the excess, pour on the dye, and then either let it sit for about 24 hours before heat setting the dye, or heat set it, then wait another 24 hours before washing out the excess dye. The cotton probably won't pick up a whole lot of color, though: when I dye wools and mohairs, I tie the hanks with cotton yarn. The animal fibers get really wonderful results -- and the cotton ties are, at best, palest shades of similar colots. Personally, I think that would be a great effect for yarn, but if you want more consistent results, you might think about adding a soda ash soak before the vinegar, or adding a little soda ash to the dye mixture. Be sure to ask about that when you buy the dye.

Other than procion, I've used RIT dyes on yarn, although I boiled the heck out of them -- for cotton -- and still got quite streaky results. I've also tried the cake icing dyes, on wool, and gotten interesting but not spectacular results. I haven't tried kool-aid, but that doesn't seem to work on cotton.

Dharma Trading is your best resource -- in my humble opinion -- but they don't have anything about dying yarn on their website! I've gotten quick, informative responses to my questions from emails to them.

Good luck, and do post here with your results! I love hearing about it!

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Rebecca
Permanent Resident

USA
1119 Posts

Posted - 02/15/2003 :  12:34:09 PM  Show Profile Send Rebecca a Private Message
I'm in agreement with the above. Cotton does not take up the dye like wool because of the cell walls in the fibers. Go ahead and do the blend, the cotton will be a "shadow" color next to the silk and wool.

Rebecca

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kat
New Pal

21 Posts

Posted - 02/16/2003 :  12:31:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit kat's Homepage Send kat a Private Message
Hi everyone....i'm in the process of knitting a skirt which i've been making up as i go..it started as a baby blanket, i took it apart and connected the panels together with shortrowed gussets, etc etc,
my problem is...YUCK, the colors! what was i thinking! lets not go there, but as i was knitting last night i AHA'd and thought, what if i dye this circus crazy garment and tone it down. here are the colors, red, orange, pink and teal. its really bad. okay, so i could dye it or bleach it. the yarn is 100% cotton. so, what dye should i use? i'm imagining that a dark blue would work well, or even a coffee might work. how does one dye a cotton garment in coffee? would it work?
thanks for the input, if you have any! also, what are your thoughts on bleaching?
kat

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Rebecca
Permanent Resident

USA
1119 Posts

Posted - 02/17/2003 :  08:21:43 AM  Show Profile Send Rebecca a Private Message
Coffee is not going to be strong enough to cover the other dyed in colors. You may want to bleach the cotton first, then use rit dye or an acid fast dye. Cotton does not take up the color the way wool does.

Good luck with this!

Rebecca

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Atavistic
Permanent Resident

6604 Posts

Posted - 02/17/2003 :  08:42:14 AM  Show Profile  Visit Atavistic's Homepage Send Atavistic a Private Message
Red. Orange. Pink. And Teal? LOL. I love it.

I would agree with the previos poster--bleaching the cotton will be a little harsh, but I think that it's going to be a necessity.

Here's some info of coffee-dying.

http://www.cross-stitch-art.com/crossstitch1/tips.htm

http://www.serve.com/marbeth/dye.html



Mindy to Heidi: Did I tell you she knits in class? She knits away and two weeks later she comes in wearing a new sweater!
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MichelleKS
New Pal

45 Posts

Posted - 02/19/2003 :  3:10:28 PM  Show Profile  Visit MichelleKS's Homepage Send MichelleKS a Private Message
Thanks for the responses. I had found the Dharma site before I posted my question - so this is good confirmation that I should order from them as my local craft stores just don't have the colors I like. I figured that because of the blend that there would be shading and that is A-Okay. I have some red, hand dyed wool that has shading and it knit up quite lovely!
Okay, so I am going to order some dye, go the vinegar mordant route as suggested by Phaedra and see what happens. I'll let you know the results!
Michelle

Michelle
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CathyMB
New Pal

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2003 :  09:17:46 AM  Show Profile Send CathyMB a Private Message
Has anyone tried overdying an ugly varigated wool yarn? I have some in shades if red that I would like to try.Cathy MB
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Phaedra28
Gabber Extraordinaire

485 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2003 :  6:56:43 PM  Show Profile Send Phaedra28 a Private Message
For overdying, use the same techniques as for dying undyed yarn, but be aware that strange things might happen! Remember the lessons you learned in kindergarten: red and blue make...

Overdying probably isn't the best first project, but if you don't like the reds you have, go ahead and try it. Can't be worse than having a yarn you won't use, can it? Remember that red is a large molecule, and that very subtle colors aren't likely to happen if you overdye. Think of using colors that will mix with the red and give you a color you'll like more. Add some yellow to make an orange color, blue for a purple color, etc. Also think about adding a little bit of black for a darker shade, if you like, since that will help cover the red.

Just take the time to make a test swatch, first, though! Otherwise, you may end up with something you like even less!

Good luck.

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kat
New Pal

21 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2003 :  12:22:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit kat's Homepage Send kat a Private Message
Cathy
i just overdyed a cotton project. the original colors were teal, orange, red and pink. I dyed it black. I didn't expect black results because i knew the original colors would come through especially with cotton. what i ended up with was very interesting muted/greyed down versions of the original colors. For instance, red became burgundy and orange became olive green.
good luck!
kat

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MichelleKS
New Pal

45 Posts

Posted - 03/05/2003 :  10:10:06 AM  Show Profile  Visit MichelleKS's Homepage Send MichelleKS a Private Message
I dyed the yarn. I ordered peacock blue and a island green. I dyed the wool/cotton/silk with the peacock blue. It is quite lovely. Slightly shading variations through out. I have not knit up a swatch yet, but I think it will be neat. I had some left over natural wool from another project that I dyed the island green and it came out lovely too!
So I have bascially mastered one color dyeing. Now to learn about handpainting!

Michelle
my boring blog where I ramble about knitting,life and my dogs: http://astitchadane.blogspot.com

Michelle
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