Dyeing for Special Projects

Dyeing for Special Projects

On the Felting and Fiber Forum, I had mentioned doing some dyeing for projects and Zed encouraged me to write about it.

I’ve had a couple projects in mind that I needed specific colors in silk and wool and needed to mix colors to get the shades I needed.

The first one was for my daughter in law for a wall hanging.  More about this next week. This one I used a dye bath for silk gauze, silk roving and merino.  I also threw in some Corriedale to have on hand. I washed the silk gauze in synthropol an soaked it and the silk roving overnight in a vinegar bath.  I soaked the wools in a vinegar bath for about a half hour before dyeing.  I didn’t need too mix colors for this job. It was an Idye mix I had made a couple of years ago.  I wasn’t sure if it would still be ok, but it worked well.

I was pleased with the results and got the exact shade I needed.










The second project I wanted to try mixing browns,  greys and a green with acid dyes for another project. Here are a couple of my color tests.  I’m not sure where the rest went I had quite a few formulas I tried.



I used saran wrap, a squirt bottle and a sponge brush to apply the mixed dyes to the pre-soaked silk pieces.

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I used merino pre-soaked in vinegar in baggies and steam for this one.  I thought I had saturated the fibers enough and rubbed the acid dye into the fiber.  However, while it was in the steamer and left overnight the dye settled in spots.  I expected the mottling on the silk which was fine.

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However, all was not lost.  After running the grays through the drum carder the colors were perfect.


Stay tuned for more on this project later.  I ended up only using the gray wools, then making prefelt for the project.  I will have to think of another project to use the silks and the browns.  I did use some of the green wool as well which was fine as it was.

I find it interesting to mix colors to get a specific colors, some times it works well, others not so much.  How has your experience been mixing dye colors?



17 thoughts on “Dyeing for Special Projects

  1. Mixing dye colours is exciting! But we learned the hard way that you have to make a note of what quantities/colours you use because when you achieve a fabulous colour you’ll never be able to make it again without notes.

    You’ve been busy and all your results are pretty – I am looking forward to seeing your projects.

  2. Thanks Lyn! It is fun and an education. Sometimes the oddest combinations give beautiful colors. I try to take good notes, but then I tend to add a bit more and sometimes forget to note it. 😉

  3. I just usually wing it when mixing dye colors. You can always blend on the drum carder if they aren’t exactly what you want. And I find that I can use most colors at some point even if they seem hideous. I almost never take notes and just go by the “seat of my pants”. 🙂

    1. There is something to be said about going “by the seat of your pants” — no pressure! You’re right most everything wool can be blended on the carder. I was more concerned about the silks, but then I didn’t end up using them. But there is so much you can do with silk I’m sure it won’t go to waste.

  4. Thank you for sharing.  Last spring I bought several yards of white silk and then regretted it. Now with advice from you folks I can’t wait to dye some!Phyllis Groppwww.facebook.com/BaaBaaFelt

    1. You’re welcome Phyllis! I was intimidated when I first started dyeing, but it has become fun and is always an adventure. Just remember you can always overdye if you don’t the results you want the first time. There are many other tips and tricks to make use of unsatisfactory results. Go for it and please share your results with us on the forum.

  5. Dying is so much fun and I am in Ruth’s camp of just winging it. I am not good at notes. I would never be able to find them anyway. Your results are lovely.

    1. Thanks Ann! I may join the winging it club, sounds like a lot more fun.

    1. Thanks Leonor! I have some silver gray acid dye that I think I added some purple haze to it. I’ll check to see if I have more specific notes when I go downstairs again. 🙂

  6. All of your dye results look great! It’s difficult to keep notes when you get so excited about the project. I usually forget that, and even though a camera is nearby, I may not get photos either.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Cathy! Yes, I often forget pics and notes when I’m in the zone. 🙂

  7. You got some nice results, Marilyn 🙂
    I wing it too. I have my formula for mixing up the primaries and black then mix them for secondaries, but usually end up making a few shades of each for a variegated effect. A lot of my favourite results have been using up odd colours on a last bit of fibre, like a bit of brown, purple, yellow and green, they seem to look oddly ‘natural’.

    1. Thanks Zed! I’m always afraid of getting mud even though this time it wouldn’t have been bad since that’s what I was headed for. Haha. :-). At least they turned out rich earthy colors. I was lucky.

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