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Topic: can i bleach and dye yarn?  (Read 1137 times)
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rockadot
« on: October 31, 2005 10:14:06 AM »

a few months ago i got a little crazy on ebay and ordered ten balls of bright orange merino (it was $20! how could i resist??). now it's sitting in the bag it came in, in my stash, never to be used because it is BRIGHT ORANGE.

is there a way to bleach out the color and dye it to something a little less citrus-ey? or will that damage the yarn?
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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2005 04:50:10 PM »

You could over-dye it with Kool-Aid to tone down the color.  There is information on how to do this at http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEfall02/FEATdyedwool.html  Try small sections of yarn in various colors of Kool-Aid until you find one you like. Kool-Aid dying is easy to do and very inexpensive.  Good luck, and post your results for us to see!
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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2005 04:07:59 PM »

I think bleaching the yarn generally makes it take dye worse.  I would overdye it.  There was a thread a while back where a gal had purchased some wool on Ebay that ended up being an olivey yellow and not the color it appeared in the auction.  Overdying it with grape koolaid resulted in a lovely chocolate brown color.  Think color-wheel here.  If you've got orange yarn, overdying it with something blue (Berry Blue or Ice Blue Raspberry) will give you a brown.  Overdying with red (Any of the cherry flavors, though black cherry will probably result in something more brown than red, not sure) will give you a red-orange, or maybe even a true red, depending on the yarn and flavor, or it might just tone down the brightness of the orange.  A pink (pink lemonade or strawberry kiwi) will probably give you a pinkish orange that could be quite lovely.
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robin
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2005 04:12:19 PM »

Sometimes using an aluminum pot will "sadden" the color, too. I'd experiment with that Kool Aid color called Tamarind something--it'll keep it autumnal but it won't scream it.
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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2005 07:10:06 AM »

DO NOT USE BLEACH ON WOOL - it will dissolve it!  This article explains why: http://amos.indiana.edu/library/scripts/sheep.html  I just tried it with a 6" length of yarn and it does dissolve away.  (This would make a nifty Science Fair project!)
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PlayItGeorge
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2005 08:21:37 AM »

When you dye using koolaid what precautions do you need to use when washing the garment?  Does the dye fade over time or rub off onto other clothes?
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« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2005 08:25:03 AM »

You can always try to make your money back by putting it on eBay.  Or take part in a stash swap.  Or use it to make some great felted projects that you can sell at a craft fair.  Bright orange is a tough-sell color, but some of us like it!
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ysolda
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2005 08:45:29 AM »

I didn't know you couldn't bleach wool. But then I read that article - it suggests an experiment by trying to bleach hair. You CAN bleach hair though. SO presumably you could bleach wool with the kind of bleach used for hair - it would probably still do some damage to the fibres though.

You could always dye it black, black covers everything. Alternatively you could make dozens of felted pumpkins.

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« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2005 11:44:52 AM »

Well, wool doesn't come naturally in stark white, and they DO sell true white wool, so wool CAN be bleached, just maybe not with chlorine bleach. However, as I said, it is my understanding that bleached wool will not take and hold dye as well as natural or already-dyed wool.  This has also been discussed in the KoolAid dye thread, which I would recommend to you, PlayItGeorge, if you are considering it.
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