:: Dyeing wool using food colouring :: A loose tutorial :: Part 1 ::

I’ve been saying for a while that I will do I tutorial on the method I use for dyeing using food colouring. There is a whole host of information out there on the www about this technique, much more now than I could find when I started doing this. It all stemmed from a packet of raro, an NZ equivilant, or so I thought, of Kool Aid. However I have come to believe that Kool Aid, does not contain sugar, a real down side to the packet of raro which does. Also, using jelly is not a great idea, especially if you leave it to cool down overnight in your colder inside than out, colder on the bench than in the fridge flat in the middle of winter. No, I clearly did not think that one through. Maybe the cold addled my brain.

Anywho, I got some passable results using raro, and it still smells like raspberries, but using non-diluted colouring appealed to me. For a while I used the colouring from the supermarket, but have a found a much mosre cost effective source at the local playcentre shop. (I suspect that most early childhood education supply shops will stock this insome form.)

This tutorial is for dyeing solid colours.

Get your wool together. Weight is not super important, but helps to determine the final outcome, especially if you are trying to duplicate a colour. I use anywhere from 5 mL per oz to 30+ mL per oz. (Post on this coming soon.)

Soak wool in a mix of water and white vinegar (acetic acid). Make sure the wool is covered and squeeze extra air out.

I use about 1/4 c of vinegar per oz, just to be sure. A purist will tell you to soak for 24 hours. For instant gratification soak for the length of time it takes you to prepare your colour. (A longer soak will in theory evenly distribute the vinegar through the wool. The vinegar (+heat) is what causes the reaction of the wool and colour molecule to be permanent. A more even covering of vinegar gives a more even colouring of the wool, but it all gets evened out in the spinning anyway.)

Perpare the colour you want. It might be 10mL of yellow, or 12 mL of yellow mixed with 5 mL of blue. Experiment and have fun! (You don’t need a squeezy bottle like this, you can just do it straight into your pot.)

Put you colour and wool into a pot and cover with water and splash more vinegar. You could use the water you soaked the wool in. Place the pot on the stovetop and heat up the water until it almost comes to a simmer. Simmer very gently until all the colour has disappeared from the water.


This is an actual photo of actual water the dye has actually gone from. You probably won’t believe me till you do it. It’s quite magical.

Drain the wool, let it cool, rinse out in cool water, and dry. Voila!

**No doubt there will be questions about felting. I actually bring my wool to simmer, simmer until the colour has gone, dump into a colander and rinse with cool water immediately, and I have never experienced any felting. However results may differ for you, and I suggest that if you’re concerned about felting try a wee sample first. Anyone who has ever made felt with purpose will attest to how much damn hard work it really is!**

Edited to add: I now use citric acid to set my dyes, as it doesn’t leave an odour. Instead of your house smelly like a a wet, vinergary sheep, it will just smell like wet sheep. Good eh? I use 1/4 teaspoon per 100g, or 1 Tablespoon per 500g. Happy dyeing!

10 Responses to “:: Dyeing wool using food colouring :: A loose tutorial :: Part 1 ::”


  1. 1 Joanne April 2, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    THANKYOU! This was really really simple, quick and effective, I currently have wool in every color of the rainbow drying in my back yard! I have been researching different dyeing methods for weeks, and this is by far the best out come, for the least effort method I have found. And better yet I found everything I needed at the supermarket!
    Thankyou!

  2. 2 Frank George October 20, 2012 at 7:10 am

    in the picture above of the wool drying outside, it appears as if you need to do something to get it back into that nice tube shape it came in. do you have to do anything to the woll in order to spin on a drop spindle?

  3. 3 Mellissa Uber-lopez June 25, 2013 at 7:09 am

    Thank you, now I can tell Betty yes it can be dyed with food coloring etc. :)

  4. 4 business reputation management July 6, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Hi there! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established
    blog. Is it very hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about
    creating my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any points or suggestions? Many thanks

  5. 5 gojibär recept August 6, 2013 at 2:40 am

    Wonderful work! This is the kind of information that should be shared
    across the web. Disgrace on the search engines for not positioning this submit upper!

    Come on over and discuss with my web site . Thanks =)

  6. 6 march 2013 42 february August 6, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Hello there! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering if
    you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

  7. 7 gold converter November 7, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    It’s going to be finish of mine day, but before end I am reading this fantastic article to improve
    my knowledge.

  8. 8 gates foundation December 13, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You obviously know what youre talking about, why throw
    away your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when
    you could be giving us something informative to read?

  9. 9 Candida Behandling January 25, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Culture negative results might also be the result of the yeast dying before it can be cultured or result in collection of
    growth channel. It is also suggested by Leo Galland, MD that in advanced problems,
    the sigmoid colon produces synthetics stopping yeast from
    growing on normal culture channel. He, therefore, recommends primary microscopic observation using special staining.


  1. 1 *blue balls* « paper planes in the sky Trackback on May 20, 2011 at 3:45 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




May 2008
M T W T F S S
« Apr   Aug »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

Archives


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: