Exploring the world of fiber, one draft at a time

My posting can be as frequent or infrequent as my spinning, so be as patient as that fiber, sitting in my stash.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Several Days of Dyeing 2002

Oh how important that little letter 'e' can be!

First synopsis: dyeing angora

The first was to experiment with easter egg dyes on angora. I prewetted the angora (a very hard job, those bunnies must be able to run around in the rain all day without feeling the least bit wet) I just mixed the dyes in quart jars, and added vinegar to the ones it said to (for some reason it said not to add vinegar to the red and purple) I popped as much wet angora in the jars, and pushed it under the dye. Then I just inverted the jars now and then as I was working on other things. The process was pretty predicable. There were still dry pockets of fiber that did not take up the dye, but most of it caught color almost immediately. Sitting in the dye did not seem to deepen the color.

Eventually I rinsed each one in the sink, with a gentle spray. I liked all the colors, but to my suprise, the red (which was really a hot pink) and the purple was the same color, the blue in the purple completely washed away. So I had a double batch of the same hot pink. I probably only did about 1/8 oz samples of each color and decided that the easter egg dye was not worth the effort.

I later tried the same method with ciba kitron dyes (acid dyes) Same process though, prewet angora, make dyes in the quart jars, and fill with angora. I only used a scant 1/2 teas of dye, but that was plenty for a 3/4 full jar of water. In fact the orange and blues did not want to go into solution, probably due to being cold, and too much dye. I added vinegar to the jars, in pretty large quantity, I think 3 tbs to the qt. The colors were vivid, just what I wanted, but alot washed off too. The red again ended up a vivid pink.

It told me what I wanted to know though. I can make these acid dyes up in a cooking pot, and do a large 5-6 oz batch of angora all in one color, and it should be the vivid colors I have been trying to achieve. Mixing colors to get a better red or other colors should be easy.

Next installment, working with wool roving

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