Wednesday, April 29, 2020

No Dye Supplies? No Problem ~ Marbleize your Wool

Years ago when starting to hook not only did I not dye wool but didn't  have a wool stash.  During the fall and winter went to the thrift store to purchase good wool clothing, dismantle, then wash and dry them to start my stash.  

At the time I had no clue about using textures as I hadn't yet had a class with the Queen of primitive hooking.... Barb Carroll.  So started collecting flat wool of every crayola color I could get my hands on.  Since Barb's classes I've given  away a lot of flat wool to beginners but still have some for 'just in case' and for marbleizing.

Recently follower Donna contacted me as she found a 2015 BLOG POST  about marbleizing but no results.  For some unknown reason I couldn't find the 'after' photos in my archives either and surely don't have old photos of them.  So promised I'd do the process again just for her.  Here ya go......

To marbleize wool you need 3 colors with the lightest wool sandwiched in the middle.  I decided to do 3 pots.

The first three colors are navy blue which looks black in the photo, bright yellow/gold and brown.
A bright blue, tan and olive,
 And plum ugly pink/red and bright red.
Karen Kahle published one of her small booklets several years ago which provides all the info on Marbleizing wool, which is in the photo.  Gather your twine and roll your sandwiched wool.  In order to take a photo and not have the wool unroll I put pins in it to keep the roll in place.  
 After you achieve the roll you secure one end, twist the roll until it coils up on itself. Then tie it all together.  It helps if you have a partner to help because you need at least three hands  to keep it secure and I only have two.
Then in the pots they go with water and a little detergent (without bleach).  I don't bring my water to a boil because I don't want felted wool but the water does get very hot.  The red pot had great bleeders but not the other two pots.
Not quite sure exactly  how long the pots were on the stove as I was doing laundry and other chores.  I'd stop at the pots and push the wool coils down or flip them over to release some dye.  Am thinking the pots were steaming on the burners for about an hour.  

Then I poured white vinegar in the pots as the mordant ~ Didn't measure but it was probably 1/3 or 1/2 cup in each pot.  Turned off the burners and let the wool steep in the water until it cooled.  Took the pots to the laundry sink, rinsed the wool a couple times, put the wool in my washer to spin the water out.

Tomorrow I'll show you the results.



  1. Oh now you would do that and make us wait! :-)

  2. Cannot wait to see the after pics! Janice

  3. Fascinating.... Not being a dyer, I guess I never even thought about the marbelizing process. Looking forward to the results! ~Robin~


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