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Topic: Tell me the right way to dye roving!  (Read 8587 times)
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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!


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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
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2005 08:27:17 AM »


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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« 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

crafting is something i do when life doesn't present me enough ways to dye my hands funny colors.
« 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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