Today we have another guest post from Cathy Wycliff (luvswool) who has recently been experimenting with different dyes.
Dyeing is one of the popular topics on the Felt & Fiber Forum, but I admit I was very reluctant to give it a try. I read about the chemicals involved, the need for rubber gloves and a face mask, and I admit that scared me away. But after I ordered 10 pounds of white wool (Domestic 56s), I realized I needed to do something, so–being the chicken that I am when it concerns “dangerous chemicals,” I opted for food colors, which are non-toxic and “easy to use.” The Wilson icing gels I used met both of those criteria, so I happily dyed my wool in the microwave. However, once I started wet-felting with the wool, I realized the colors bleed, even though I had followed the instructions (vinegar rinse).
That’s what led me to acid dyes, as I witnessed the beautiful results Forum members achieved through their use of acid dyes. I went ahead and ordered Dharma yellow and blue (figuring I could make my own green), and began my dyeing journey. I gathered my materials using Ruth Lane’s book “Complete Photo Guide to Felting,” even though Dharma offers instructions on their website. I just do better with photos. Not pictured are the rubber gloves and mask I wore throughout the process.
I mixed the acid dyes according to Dharma instructions on the labels, double-checking with Ruth’s instructions. I used glass jars, which are fine, but I have since ordered those squirt bottles for easier and more direct application of the liquid dyes.
Each different color of wool was wrapped separately in plastic wrap and stacked in a stainless steel vegetable steamer. Here you see my designated stainless steel large pot, never to be used again for pasta! I put in an inch of water in the pot and covered.
I now have a good supply of green, blue and yellow standard wool roving and pencil roving, along with a couple of silk pieces ready to be nuno-felted. Would I do this again? Absolutely!
Just received my new colors of Dharma dyes, ready to go again!