Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Intensifying dye formulas

Had a special order this week for a variation on my Dancing Leaves formula. This is a picture of the spot-dyed wool using the original formula. As you can see it is a nice mix of light greens, tans, and golds. My customer asked for gradations of this wool, so the first thing I did was double the formula. That definitely darkened the wool. But then she asked for an even darker piece. I tried tripling the formula, but it resembled the doubled formula piece. I realized that the wool was only going to take up so much of the dye. In order to get my darker version, I had to turn to darker greens and deeper tans. I also added 1/128 of black to two of the cups of formula. Here is the darkest of the variations.

In this shot, you can see the deeper green areas, and although it is hard to tell, the golds are richer.

I started the dyeing process for this color with a yard of Dorr yellow wool. I soaked it in synthropol for an hour.

After it soaked, I drained the excess liquid and scrunched the wool up with lots of nooks and crannies to give the wool a super mottled look.

After that, using a criss-cross method, I put the dye on the wool.

The next step was to loosely cover with foil, and steam in a 300° oven for an hour. When I took the wool out, here's what it looked like:

After the wool cooled, I machine washed and dried it. The finished wool is shown above.

By the way, it was 90° outside the day I dyed this wool. Thank God for air conditioning!!


Sheri said...

Beautiful wool! I wanted to add that although we have AC, I think our kitchens must go above 90 degrees when dyeing! It's really a work out! To top that off, my laundry is in the basement. I'm too old for this much exercise!!! LOL

Wanda said...

I like the result that you got with the darker dyes. Great experiment! And thank you for posting the photos, as well. Very helpful. Wanda in Edmonton

Crescent Lane Hooker said...

Thanks for the tutorial. I'm definitely a visual learner . . . I have both your books and though I haven't dyed a whole lot, my results are always wonderful. Seeing the pics makes it even easier.
I have spent the passed two house looking at all your favorite blogs with all their wonderful rugs and crafts. It makes me want to start my own blog . . . well almost. And, all that time I could have been cleaning house, LOL