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Topic: Dyeing to ask a question?  (Read 2227 times)
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Lloer
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« on: February 06, 2007 04:46:07 AM »

I have a question on dyeing and also thought it would be good to have a thread for everyone's dyeing questions.  Smiley

So, I've been dyeing top (so far all Teeswater which is a longwool like Wensleydale) and this is how I've been doing it:

  • Wet the wool in the sink
  • Put it on clingfilm and paint it with acid dyes
  • Spray it with a water and vinegar solution
  • Wrap it up
  • Microwave it for about 8 mins on full power- 800W
  • Let it cool then rinse it

The problem I'm getting is that the top ends up being very compact and almost felted on the outside. It makes it quite hard to separate into strips and produces quite a few little clumps. Can someone tell me where I'm going wrong?

I've just bought 2 kilos of undyed top in various wools and some more acid dyes (all 16 colours available in the Kemtex range) and before I get stuck in with the new stuff I want to improve the results I'm getting as this is my last fibre purchase for a very longtime due to budget restrictions!

TIA

Emma
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Snowberrylime
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2007 05:01:26 AM »

I have never actually dyed in the microwave, but from the tutorials I read on it, it normally states you should blast it for a few minutes, then give it a break and then repeat it as often as necessary.
So I'd either say try doing it slower with a few breaks, or maybe the fibre felted whilst rinsing...?
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2007 07:47:04 AM »

With the microwave you should alternate 2 minutes on, 2 minutes off until your dye is exhausted.

However, the wetting and what not of the dyeing process will compact your fiber a little bit regardless. What you can do to help make dealing with it easier when dry is just to tease it a little bit along the length of it [to puff it out a bit] before hanging to dry.
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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2007 05:05:04 PM »

Also, when you soak out your wool & then spray use very hot water, so there isn't a big shock between the microwave temperature and the soak temperature.
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thegoodsheep
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2007 07:31:46 PM »

I too dye in the microwave and my first dyeing experience was a shocker.

I have discovered that over microwaving is bad, I do two minutes on two off and try not to let it boil too much, it seems to make the wool go a little strange texture wise. I generally try to microwave for no more than 6 -8 minutes per 100g (combed roving not fleece thou)

I also let is cool completely before I rinse it, there is generally a little dye left the water when I finish nuking it but once it has cooled it completely exhausts and I also don't have to worry about temperature shock if I am rinsing cold wool in cold water.

My spinning teacher also suggested teasing the wool when half dry as previously mentioned.

Hope the next lot turns out great

Helena
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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2007 09:23:35 AM »

I've been meaning to post for ages thanking you all for your advice!

My last dyeing session went well in that I learnt a lot about the dyes I'm using and my technique.

The first thing I changed was to soak the wool for longer - I was only soaking it for 5 - 10 mins before. Now I soak it for about 2 hours. I also  started microwaving 2 mins on, 2 mins off. I learnt to leave white space between the areas to which I apply dye as it spreads out. I also diluted the dye stock more, I had been using a 2% solution and I've diluted to 1% now.

I also learnt that with the dyes I'm using, the black is actually very dark purple and the red is more of a dark pink. I have all the colours of a new dye system - Kemtex - waiting for when I finish the current lot, hopefully they'll be better.

So a couple of more questions - I've been trying to dye Corriedale for the first time today and even though the wool was well soaked, when I poured dye onto it, the dye ran off the wool rather than soaking in - any tips for this?

Finally, what percentage solution do the rest of you use?

Thanks again,

Emma

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sulicat
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2007 10:38:42 PM »

Soaking the wool beforehand ensures even dye uptake (ie, the individual fibres are all wet, not patchy spots of wet and not wet), but you only need about 20 minutes of soaking. Then, squeeze out all of the excess water - gently - before you dye. From your description it sounds as though you hadn't squeezed out enough water.

I'm comfortable with my Jacquard acid dyes now that I just eyeball for amounts. I've gotten used to the different levels of saturation I get for the different amounts of dry powder I use, though I did experiment with what would have been a 1% solution ratio at the beginning to see what kind of colours to expect.

Hope the next attempt works better!
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Lyme
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2007 03:56:00 AM »

Too long in the microwave, probably. I used to dye using a microwave, but it always ended up leaving the yarn (this was before dyeing fiber) looking fried... so I found a crockpot on sale and have been using that since, it has been much gentler on the fiber.
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« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2007 11:47:54 AM »

I know this is most likely a really, really stupid question, but:
can you dye fabric or clothing this same way, or does it only work on wool?
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2007 05:05:49 AM »

You can (in theory) dye anything made from wool or silk (or any other natural protein fibre) like this - yarn, felt, fibre, cloth, finished objects.  The problem is that it can be quite hard to distribute the dye and heat the items evenly - you might be better off using a dye-bath in a crockpot for when you want a finished object to be dyed evenly.  You can have quite a lot of fun tie-dying in a microwave, though, and doing stripey yarns.

K.
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