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Topic: Dyeing yarn with henna?  (Read 2948 times)
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metaphysical_muse
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« on: September 19, 2006 06:35:01 PM »

Has anyone tried it?
I saw instructions here -->http://www.earthguild.com/products/riff/rnatdye.htm and wondered if anyone has achieved good results.
I have some handspun yarn that I've been wanting to dye brown. I tried the Kool-Aid method mixing cherry and lemon-lime, but it came out kind of a gross pink color instead of the rich brown that I was hoping for. I wonder if henna would do the trick?
« Last Edit: September 19, 2006 06:39:19 PM by metaphysical_muse » THIS ROCKS   Logged
midnightsky1686
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2006 12:52:27 AM »

Coffee will also get a brown color.
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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2006 08:27:57 AM »

I've never dyed yarn with henna, but I've done skin, hair and wood. The main thing with henna is that it only works on protein fibers, and it's a bitch to wash out. It's a very thick paste, even working just with hair (my own) it often takes repeated wash cycles to get all of the grit out. I'm not sure if yarn is up for that amout of handling without felting. Depending on what color you want you can either add a terpineol EO (such as tea tree) or not, but whatever dye gets into your yarn is going to continue to oxidize as time passes. Expect something like a bright orange when it starts, and varying shades of mottled brown as it oxidizes. It's very hard to get an even color over a large area with henna (on skin, at least). I would recommend not trying it on a yarn you're particularly fond of.
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2006 08:37:37 AM »

I've never dyed yarn with henna, but I've done skin, hair and wood. The main thing with henna is that it only works on protein fibers, and it's a bitch to wash out. It's a very thick paste, even working just with hair (my own) it often takes repeated wash cycles to get all of the grit out. I'm not sure if yarn is up for that amout of handling without felting. Depending on what color you want you can either add a terpineol EO (such as tea tree) or not, but whatever dye gets into your yarn is going to continue to oxidize as time passes. Expect something like a bright orange when it starts, and varying shades of mottled brown as it oxidizes. It's very hard to get an even color over a large area with henna (on skin, at least). I would recommend not trying it on a yarn you're particularly fond of.

I don't know how it would do on yarn, although I am vastly curious to see the results if you try it! The uneven color *could* turn to a good thing in the yarn. I have used it on hair (and btw, I recommend mixing more liquid in for a less thick paste, it will make rinsing it out much easier!) and I find it is a red rather than brown - though it depends on what color the fiber was to begin with. What those who use it for hair do for brown is to mix it with indigo - though the technique for the indigo is a little different and as I recall is added close to the end. You can find more info if you wander around http://www.hennaforhair.com, and also the related website they link to for mehandi. There is a wealth of information there on henna usage. :-)

You are resparking my desire to try doing a design on cotton (cloth that is). Anyone know if that would work?? Also, wood? I had never even heard of that! :-)
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