Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dyeing without Dye Part Two

Yesterday I posted pictures of the wool I would use in the 'marriage' pot which were sandwiched together.  Here is a look inside the dye pot as it was beginning to bleed.

I was surprised that the red wasn't as good a bleeder as I'd thought it might be but it will still produce results to give otherwise flat colors a face lift.

As soon as that had been started I decided to grab 3 different wools to marbleize ~ a tan texture, a wine color and dark green.  I sandwiched the wine between the tan texture and green and rolled just as I'd shown you yesterday.

Here is a peek inside that dye pot and boy was that green a bleeder, look at how the tan texture has changed already with lots of green dye left in the pot and I haven't put in that glug of white vinegar yet either.

So you let the pot of water and detergent simmer, I'm guessing I let mine simmer for over an hour.... do not boil because it will come out too stiff to use for hooking. 
Once you think the water has a suitable color you the pour a glug of white vinegar in the pot as a mordant, about 1/3 cup, so the dye will grab the wool.  I simmer maybe another 15 minutes after putting the vinegar in and then let the pot cool on the burner. 

Since there was so much green dye left in the pot during the final simmering I threw in a couple extra smaller pieces to take advantage of the 'free' dye available.

After the pot has cooled down I untied the wool and rinsed well and tossed it all together in the dryer with two fluffy towels and dried it on low temperature.

Below are the results of the wool I showed you yesterday.  The first picture is one side, and you will see there is a little variance from side to side so when the wool strip is cut I could pick which side best suits the hooking project.

And now is the reserve side of the wool.  Sorry I could not get the pictures to rotate. 

Next picture shows the results of the wool chosen for the second marbelizing job. And great choices of colors I chose this time.  I love what happened to the tan textured wool and have plans for it.  Either side is great to use.  Here is side one:


And then here is the other side.


And below are those small random pieces I selected to soak up the remaining dye in the pot.  After I simmered the pieces in the pot I put just a bit more white vinegar in the pot so it would absorb as much of the dye as possible. 

The first piece was a small piece of natural, next was a very light tan herringbone strip, then was a tan texture but different than the one used above, with the last one being part of a pocket from the skirt panel used in the picture above.

So you can see how easy this is to dye without the expense of buying dye and to add a little variety to your beginning stash.  Have fun experimenting.


  1. Beautiful results. There's nothing like "free" dye from the thrift store.

  2. Fantastic results. Perfect colors to hook. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Wow, thanks for sharing this info. I don't dye, don't want to get into it, but this....I think I could do!!

  4. Great results....Have you done "confetti dye"??? Just cut up itty bits of wool...I use all of my worms for this project. Sprinkle them over a piece of wool, roll it up and "cook" away. Makes very interesting spotting.
    Looking forward to reading more of your "dye" ideas.

  5. Linda, matter of fact I have done confetti dying and was thinking that I might show that on my blog one day. Last time I just dumped my snipped bits so now need to save up more before I can do that.


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