Sunday, October 5, 2008

Experiments in Hand-Dyeing, Part I

I finally got to try experimenting with Hand-Dyeing again. I tea-dyed, well over-dyed really, some ecru cotton thread for the Ravelympics. It was pretty successful, so I wanted to try more things. This time, I wanted to try dyeing 100% cotton thread and 100% bamboo thread with Wilton's Icing Colors (cause I have lots of them and it just sounded like fun). But everything I read seemed like it wouldn't work for my threads.

I asked around Ravelry a lot and read a lot of blogs and dug into my copy of The Yarn Lover's Guide to Hand Dyeing. Cause I'm stubborn, I was determined to try it anyway. I took lots of notes and kind of pieced together a strategy to try.

I made 3 10 yd skeins of each thread type. For one skein of each type, I decided to do nothing to it except wet it before dyeing. For another skein of each type, I decided to do a mordant bath in Alum and Soda Ash before dyeing. For the last skein of each type, I decided to scour them in Soda Ash, then mordant in Alum and Soda Ash (again) before dyeing.

Here's how they came out:

The three skeins on the left are the bamboo and the 3 on the right are the cotton. I'll give details as to which had what done after the experiment is completely finished.

They seem to be colorfast. I rinsed and washed several times and could not get anymore dye to come out. I even pull a strand through a paper towel and they were all dry to see if any would come off on the paper towel...nothing. So far so good. Now, I'm testing them to see if they are light fast or if they will fade after all this work. I'll let you know how it goes. If all goes well, I'll post exactly what I did.

Happy Crafting!


  1. Your dyeing looks really good. Its the playing and experimenting that I like

  2. Love those tiny skeins... so cute and pink ;)
    So much experimenting going on, you go girl!