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Topic: Tell me the right way to dye roving!  (Read 5845 times)
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natashafatale
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« on: June 01, 2005 11:41:52 AM »

I can spin, and I can dye my yarn in its finished state, and I can do some fancy stuff now thanks to pluckyfluff's book (pictures to come soon). But for the life of me, I can not dye roving without felting it. I've done the kool-aid dying, but the only way to make the dye permanent is by microwaving it, which felts the fiber. I also tried RIT fabric dye but that needs heat to set as well.

So what kind of dye should I use? Is there a certain brand that works without heat? I would really appreciate if the more experienced spinnners could give me some tips. Thank you!  Grin
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natashafatale
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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2005 03:16:01 PM »

http://www.gfwsheep.com/rov.inst/rov.inst.html

I found this tutorial, but I guess I still don't understand what "aniline dye powder" is. I wonder if I could just go into a craft store and ask for it...?
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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2005 05:04:39 AM »

i have kool-aid dyed roving in plastic ziploc bag with hot tap water then hung the bags on my laundry line  in the sun for about 45 minutes then rinsed, dripped dry and enjoy!!
im actually in the process of looking for a hotplate on freecycle.org to use expressly for crafts Smiley
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hello.mango
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2005 05:21:01 AM »

I use Kool Aid to dye mine and I bought a couple of big soup pans that I put on the gas hob and heat it gently until the water goes clear.

I got the instructions from here:

http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/kool-aid-dying.html

Just be careful not to agitate it too much when wet and is shouldn't felt!  Mine sometimes felts a little but I pull it out  when drafting it before spinning.

Hope that helps!
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Cila
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2005 05:38:41 PM »

I've found that, when dying wool, i let it soak in the hot water for about 45 min. (barely touching it to avoid aggitation!) and then, after it's spun, I'll wet the yarn and nuke it in the microwave.  IDK if it's neccessary to do this, but it works for me with barely any felting.
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hello.mango
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2005 11:18:52 PM »

I have wondered about fixing the twist after spinning.  How long do you stick it in the microwave for and what does IDK mean?  Sorry for my ignorance, still a newbie to spinning though!
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Cila
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2005 05:52:13 AM »

Hehe...no problem!  IDK means "I don't know" in internet slang.  Tongue  Well, what I usually do is stick it in the microwave in a dye bath (if I'm dying all the yarn the same color)  I put two packets of kool aid (any dye that needs heat to set will do, however) and put the microwave on for 2 min, and let it sit for 2 min untill all the color (or most) is gone from the water.  When setting the twist with a microwave, I put the yarn in a microwavable container submersed in water, and do 2 min on, 2 min to cool about 3 or 4 times.  I let the water cool a bit untill I can stick my hand in it, then very carefully squeez the water out of it, starting at the top of the skein working to the bottom.  Then I hang it to dry.  Hope this helps!  Ask more questions if you need to or if my answer wasn't very well explained (it's early in the morning, sorry!)
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spinster
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2005 05:01:43 PM »

i have dyed with koolaid, stove top method, similar to what hello.mango said..haven't had any felting issues.. one thing that i've heard is important, besides avioding agitation, is to be sure you're rinse water is the same temperature as your dye bath, as sudden temp. changes can apparently cause felting.. although, i've noticed that with the stovetop method, rinseing is barely neccessary as all the colour just gets soaked right up and stays!
i guess it could also depend on what kind of wool roving you have.. i'm sure different type of sheep felt to different degrees..
good luck.
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hello.mango
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2005 12:43:35 AM »

I will certainly have a try at zapping it in the microwave after spinning, as I have noticed a couple of mine have loosened after a while.  Not a lot, but just a tiny amount.  I quite like the look of it slightly loose though, but it would be nice to be able to have it tight as well!

I am rubbish at using the same temp water for rinsing but it doesn't felt much at all.  I am using Merino and apart from a couple of batches of dyeing where it felted a little at the edges, I have been very lucky not to have it totally felted.  I like the stove-top method though, as you can see it changing colour in front of your eyes and you add dry kool aid powder on to the top to make different colour effects!  It feels much more hands on as well.  Hubby does complain about the smell of cooking vinegar though!
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Cila
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2005 10:58:12 AM »

Hehe...my fiance complains about his apartment smelling like I put a sheep in the microwave.  Tongue  Well, let's be honest...that is what it smells like.
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bonanzajellybean
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« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2005 05:32:39 PM »

One way to keep the roving from felting is to take your time heating it up.  i take my fiber and the dye and some water and go really slowly heating it up and cooling it down.  Rapid changes in temperatures can cause the wool to felt.  Even if it is felted a little, (some times the ends do get felted) when you draft it out it will correct its self so you can spin with it.

Here is a web site that has instructions for a bunch of different dyes.  I get the lanaset dyes from this site and I have never had any problems with my wool felting.  Good Luck!

http://www.earthguild.com/products/riff/riffs.htm
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« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2005 07:26:35 PM »

Hehe...my fiance complains about his apartment smelling like I put a sheep in the microwave. Tongue Well, let's be honest...that is what it smells like.
rolf- that is the best thing ive read all day!

Ive yet to felt wool with rapid temp changes (even fine merino), only with lots of accidental agitation (ie as im placing the dye and getting it through, etc)
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« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2005 09:29:13 PM »

so what is the best way to dry it? and do you squeeze it out a bit or does it basically have to drip/drain off onto a towel? i just don't want to lose the fluffy...i have some roving, actually batts that i've been wanting to dye. random wool, not sure the type that was given to me but i'm a bit afraid of it. i really want to dye it and spin it =)
also what about making more of a "handpainted" roving??? i have seen directions where folks squirt different areas with dye but i see some rovings that look way more defined and deliberate. any wisdom here?Huh
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helloyarn
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2005 08:27:17 AM »

http://www.helloyarn.com/randomdyeing.htm

That is a great way to dye without much chance of felting.  Soak the wool without moving it in the water AT ALL.  Drain water and then gently push down on the wool with your hands to get more water out.  Lift the wool into the pan an arrange as you see fit. 

After heating in the oven, let it cool all the way in the pan and then fill the sink with cool water.  Tip the pan into the water and gently push the wool down.  If the water is clear, drain and remove.  If the water is colored, drain and remove wool, refill with water, and repeat. 

This method has so little movement of the wool that I have never felted anything, even the finest Merino.  I find the most felting happens on the stovetop, where the wool is more able to move around in hot water.
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« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2005 07:37:11 PM »

I've used a steam bath to set the color in roving.  First, I soak it in a water-vinegar solution for 20 minutes.  Then, I either paint it with dye or put it in a plastic zip bag containing the dye bath.  If I've painted it, I wrap the roving in plastic wrap.  Then, I put the sealed plastic in the steamer basket of an old enamel cooking pot and steam it for 30 minutes.  Afterwards, I allow it to cool in the steamer.  Then, I gently rinse it by placing it in the bottom of the sink and squishing it under gently running water.  To dry, I set it on a mesh drying rack.

Also, you can get some nice dyed roving using a crock pot.  (If you use food dyes, you can still use the pot for food.  Otherwise, you need a crock pot dedicated to being a dye pot.)
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« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2005 12:42:25 AM »

I use the crockpot for KA dying and procion MX for handpainting. I have to admit, I didn't like the microwave method at all for KA dying. I use a large stock pot with a veggie rack in the bottom and steam my handpainted rovings (I don't use plastic bags-- I just take my time and do one or two rovings not touching each other during the steaming)
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natashafialkov
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« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2005 08:54:11 PM »

the best thing to do is get a good book on dyeing...or, there is a koolaid tutorial on knitty.com...the biggest issue if you are using wool is not to ever "shock" the fiber, which means, let it totally cool down before rinsing or touching, touch it while it is hot as little as possible, because heat and agitation cause felting, which makes sense, since that is how you would do it on purpose, also. and when you rinse the fiber, let is soak in water the same temp as the fiber, and if that doesn't get it all out, don't run water directly over it. your best bet is to do some research online, just google it, or buy a good dyeing book, dyer's companion, twisted sisters sock book, yarns to dye for, or even dharma trading company's website have some directions. good luck.
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« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2005 09:07:42 PM »

i prefer the stovetop method to the microwave for kool-aid dyeing - if the water starts to boil on the stovetop, you can just turn it down. well, that, and my microwave has it out for me. Cheesy
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« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2005 01:24:50 AM »

I agree alligatorjuice, I prefer stove top as I can see when the water is clear whereas the microwave method is more of a scientific process for me, making sure I get the timing right etc.  I much prefer a hands on, intuitive approach.  I spoke a lady who has dedicated her life to dyeing fabric and fibres at the latest guild meeting, and she said stove top is great as you can stop it early on if you get a nice colour quickly, she was a mad lady but great and with excellent advice!
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« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2005 10:34:36 AM »

I actually use several methods in the same dye day, but helloyarn's is my all time favorite!  that girl's a genius!  I love the oven method!  I've never felted ANYTHING, not even supa fine merino.  I soak my wool in water and vinegar, then drain most of it off, paint it with lanaset in plastic bottles, bake for 25 minutes (2 big turkey roasters fit in my oven with 10-12  oz each), go to bed, wake up, rinse, spin, hang.

All the methods produce different styles, it just depends.  Oven gives a nice variation and hue, while steaming in plastic gives such distinct lines, stove top gives me very unpredictable results and the most agitation, I use it, but only for surprises!  Oh, just for kicks, i throw it in the crock pot every once in a bit.
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sweetgeorgia
« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2005 11:01:34 AM »

Oh! Oven dyeing -- it would be wonderful, but I'm concerned about safety. I mean, they tell you to get a dedicated crock pot, dedicated microwave, etc. because you don't want to be combining dyeing and cooking. I've been using a big 16 qt. turkey roaster but using the oven would sure speed things up.
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« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2005 11:27:08 AM »

I have a dedicated microwave, but I must admit there have been plenty of times I just use the regular one!  I've heard that the dye powder I use - Procion MX - isn't toxic, but that it can cause you to become allergic to it if you inhale the dust, so I use a dust mask.
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« Reply #22 on: September 28, 2005 11:40:21 AM »

Oh! Oven dyeing -- it would be wonderful, but I'm concerned about safety. I mean, they tell you to get a dedicated crock pot, dedicated microwave, etc. because you don't want to be combining dyeing and cooking. I've been using a big 16 qt. turkey roaster but using the oven would sure speed things up.
I'm not too worried about dying in the oven since the main concern is residue on the container holding the dye & fiber, which, in this case, is the turkey roaster.  The oven is just a convient heat source, like the burners if you do a stove-top method.
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