Hamble Campbell's Home Page

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Good dye to you all.

I had a thoroughly action- packed Saturday at my weaving teacher, learning to dye wool and silk.

Here are the skeins hanging over my loom, while I decide what to do with them.

The long one is a silk warp that I dabbed with fibre reactive dyes while it was lying in a gutter (that'll teach it to stay sober). This is called random dyeing and it used cold water. There is its green silk weft hanging next to it.

The other hanks, in pinks and mauves, are different types of wool and were dyed using acid dyes in hot water.

My plan is to dye thick berber rug wool so I can weave more individual rugs in colours I have chosen, rather than in the colours that happen to be available. We shall see. A rug does use up a lot of yarn. I've got a bit of rug wool that is already dyed to use up first and then I'll see what I can do.

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  • At 17 July, 2008 13:59, Anonymous Blue Witch said…

    I have acid dyes and I have wool. I haven't put the two together as I'm worried about the heat felting the wool. Any pearls of wisdom?

  • At 20 July, 2008 00:13, Blogger Irene Adler said…

    blue witch,

    my instructions say that you have to boil the wool to ensure the acid dye is made fast, so it can't be doing the wool any harm.

    I think the main thing is not to move the wool about too much in the water, and not expose it to sudden extreme changes in temperature, ie don't plunge it into cold water after boiling. Silk, however, must be kept below 80 degrees apparently.

  • At 21 July, 2008 13:19, Anonymous Blue Witch said…

    Thank you Irene!

    From the day on Saturday (which was with a local Guild, you were correct) I also learnt that it's the difference in temperature between cooking liquid and rinsing liquid that often causes problems (one lady said if you leave wool in the fleece washing/dyeing liquid overnight or until it's cold, you can then safely rinse in cold water from the tap. I thought - she hasn't felt how cold the water is in my taps in winter!).

    I think I also learnt that it's time I got on and played more and worried less about getting it 'right'!!!


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