20 February 2017

Things Are Cooking in My Kitchen Again

It's been ages since I did any dyeing. Yesterday I decided to change that and to try something I haven't done before: acid dyeing wool with fibre-reactive dye. I have a knitted scarf with matching wrist warmers that I made several years ago from some lovely hand painted 100 % merino wool from Uruguay. You can see the original post I wrote about the wool and the scarf here.

The scarf

However, after the yarn had been knitted, the overall impression was a bit more orange and speckled than what I had expected and this has bothered me ever since. Well, I'm a dyer, so why should I let something like that bother me? So I got out my pot and dye and got started.

Double, double, toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble...

I normally prefer cold-water and low-water dyeing techniques to hot water and immersion dyeing, but I enjoyed trying something else for a change. I haven't had much experience in dyeing wool and using an acid dye bath instead of an alkaline one, so I was curious to see the result. Wool takes a bit of patience as you can't rush the process unless you want your yarn or knitted garment felted in the process. Many of us have indeed personal experience of what happens when you throw a woolen garment in hot water and agitate it. I managed to make a trivet out of my favourite beret many years ago.

The result was perhaps not as saturated as I expected, but I love the way the original colours  (violet, orange and pink) still shine through even though the overall colour has been modified. The scarf is much nicer now that the lighter areas have been replaced with red.

Just enough red to even out the colour, but preserve some of the original colours.

I'm pretty sure this will be a renaissance for this scarf. In fact, I've even used it indoors today because it's so soft and cosy.

Thanks for visiting my blog! I hope I've inspired you to give overdyeing a go if you have some item of clothing in the back of your wardrobe that just needs a bit of colour adjustment. Just remember that synthetic fibres do not accept dye like natural fibres, so make sure you check the fibre contents first, and read the dye manufacturer's instructions carefully before you start! Have fun!