Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dyeing Wool

I dyed the wool. Things I noticed

Shrinkage. On initial hot ("heavy" setting on washing machine) wash, my nice woven wool went from 7.5 yards to 6.75 yards, and 3.3 yards to 3 yards respectively. Thats shrinkage of around 0.3 per 3.3 yards. After dyeing (at 130 F) each 2 yard increment shrunk by an inch or two. So if buying (nice woven) wool, but 1/2 yard more per 3 yards.

How I dyed them. I cut them into approximately 2-2.5 yard increments of my prewashed fabric. I filled the bucket with around 3 gallons of water 130 F (I acheived this with around 2.5 gallons of hot tap water, and 0.5 gallon of boiling water) and checked it with a meat thermometer. Then I put in a package of RIT dye (dark green) and around 2 T. laundry detergent, mixed it up. Then put in the dry fabric for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. After 5 minutes, I added 1 cup white vinegar, then stirred for 5 more minutes, then cold rinsed over and over. The pieces each only shrunk a couple inches or so. I found putting half a pot of boiling water per bucket was much nicer to the fabric then a full pot (that fabric felted more).

RIT dye errs on the side of being blue. Very blue. So the dark brown had a purple undertone to it (I prefer oranger/tan undertones), and the 'Dark Green' when dyed lightly (10 min) anyway, is kind of a dusky blue green. I want something more like olive. So next time I will always have some 'sunshine orange' (something kind of orangey yellow) to add to my greens and browns. I think I will try redyeing my batch with sunshine yellow, to acheive a warmer brown and olive green.

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