Friday, August 23, 2013


What do you do with wool that has an undesirable color to your eye?  Use it for primitive black!  Frankly I use a LOT of primitive black in rugs and while I purchase great darks from Betsy and Rebecca which need not be dyed, it is always great to use up those uglies in the stash and over dye them primitive black.  It's nice to have a mixture of textures and underlying colors mixed in the background or in a black horse or dog.

A few years ago someone on Rughookers Yahoo was getting out of the rug hooking business and had bolts of 100% wool for sale cheap.  I mean cheap and it was 100% wool.  When I say cheap don't think it was over $10 per yard.  Hey, what could be wrong with 100% wool at that price?????  DUH? 

When I got it I didn't like it 'as is' is because the white threads were too over powering even when hooked.   Think I purchased 2 yards of the red, the brown and green ~ 6 yards in all.  The green really wasn't bad but the brown and red had white threads which stuck out too much.  This is a picture of the three wools where you can see both sides of the wool; green on left is folded over and looks okay, brown on top and red on the bottom.  Just too much light peeking out for my liking.
So I did what any hooker would do, I over dyed some wool.  I used a recipe of 1/4 seal brown, 1/4 black, 1/4 dark green in a CBW.  I'm sure more experienced dyers would have had a better recipe and I welcome them to respond with one.

The wool was pre-soaked and guess there was about 1 yard of wool in the pot although I didn't measure.  Well after over an hour there was still dark water in the pot and it had almost reached a boiling point and then I turned it down and let it steam up my house (think A/C $).

These are the results of the dye job of the above wool.  Top row on left is the original un-dyed brown wool and to the right is the over dye of brown.  Bottom row left is the green and to the right is the red.
So after well over an hour in the pot and still color there, decided to pull out a smidgen more wool to toss in to use up the dye.  I considered putting in the mordant at that point but being a novice thought I'd just add a smidgen more wool to absorb it and then add the mordant.  Top row was the undyed wool and below is what I achieved from the last 15 minutes of dye.

For those dyers reading this I'd be interested to learn a better recipe for me to use on the red and brown wool with the white threads. 

Thanks for visiting.  AND......... maybe, just maybe there will be a giveaway of dyeable wool in the future.

Have a great evening.



  1. great dying tip good when I hook I use antique black quite a bit.

  2. I have enjoyed reading your blog and learning so much. I only started hooking this year. Wish I had the time to jump into playing with dyes. Maybe in the future. But the antique black would be top on the list. It is my favorite background color so far.

  3. The purple plaid turned out lovely I think!

  4. I am so glad you have some kind of idea for Antique Black, I have tried and tried but have never been happy with the color I got. This looks great, I use so much antique black too so I am glad you gave this recipe.
    Thank you,

  5. I think you got some great results from your dye session! The wool looks much nicer now....

  6. Thanks for your inspiration and knowledge!


Thanks for taking the time to visit and I always welcome comments.