Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sun Dyeing


It's been hot here.

Blistering heat.  High humidity.   No fun for people or critters, but perfect weather for sun dyeing.  It's easy and a fun summer activity for kids.

Sun dyeing is for fibers that need heat to set.   Protein fibers:  Silk, wool, mohair, angora, alpaca, soy silk,  nylon.

Yeah, I know that nylon isn't protein, but it dyes like protein.  

This is what you need:

  • glass jar 
  • 4 colors of dye:   You can use kool-aid/drink mixes, food coloring, cake coloring, or acid dye.   Remember, this is America.  You can use how many ever colors of dye that you want.  You can combine different types of dye.   You can even use kool-aid with sugar if you want, but I don't recommend it because it makes things very, very sticky.   Use the drink mix packs without sugar.
  • Acid of some kind:  citric acid [not necessary if you use drink mixes - they have citric acid in them already.], vinegar, etc.
  • fibers or yarns that will fit into your glass jar, divided into three piles. 

This is what you do:
  • Sprinkle some dye in the bottom of the jar.  Don't be OCD about it, just sprinkle.  Be generous.
  • Put a third of your fiber in the jar.  
  • Sprinkle some dye over it.   
  • Put another third of the fiber in the jar.   
  • Way over on one side, sprinkle another color of dye.  
  • On the opposite side, sprinkle another color.   
  • Put the last third of your fiber in and sprinkle another color of dye on top.  
  • Sprinkle with citric acid or dump some vinegar in.
  • Fill the jar with hot water out of the tap.   Fill it until all of the fiber is covered. 
  • Let sit in sun for a day or so.  I covered mine with loose tops to keep the bugs out and the ducks from drinking it.   Eew.
  • You'll notice that the water will become clear around the yarn - that tells you that the dye has attached to the yarn out of the water.   That's good!
  • Rinse well and hang to dry. 
In the pic above, I used 6 skeins of nylon ribbon in each gallon jar.    In the left jar I used forest, burnt orange, navy, leaf and yellow dyes.   In the right jar I used violet, fuchsia, turquoise and bright red dyes.   I let them cook for a day and a half before I rinsed them.

The green ones got a little dark.  I dumped quite a bunch of the forest dye in the bottom.  

That's how it goes.  You're never quite sure how things will turn out.   Remember -- that's the fun of it!

The fuchsia and purple ones turned out like this.

Every skein is different.   I love them!

Now.....what to do with them....hmmmm.

1 comment:

  1. I HEART THIS! I'm off to buy ribbon and kool-aid.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...