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Topic: DYING WITH FOODCOLORING - HOW?  (Read 3173 times)
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« on: November 08, 2006 07:54:32 AM »

Can someone tell me how to dye with food coloring and on stove top (until I can find a crock pot- and I have no microwave)?


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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2006 10:09:14 AM »

Just add vinegar!  You could mix the food coloring to squeeze bottles or just add it right to the dyebath!

Heat roving/wool in pot with water to cover.  Heat on medium till hot, take out roving, let dye "exhaust" rinse when cool, dry and spin up!
« Last Edit: November 08, 2006 10:11:24 AM by misshawklet » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2006 12:28:59 AM »

Just like misshawklet said. You could probably find more info if you used google.

To give you an idea of time, last night I test dyed some locks in a couple of cups of water. I microwaved them first for 50 seconds, then let rest for a couple of minutes, then again for 45 secs. I haven't spun them up yet, but they rinsed out easily, and are still full of colour.
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« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2006 05:19:11 AM »

Well, misshawklet pretty much said it in a nutshell but I'll say it again.

First thing, skein up your yarn with a niddy, skein winder, your elbow or the back of a chair. Tie a few loose loops on the skein with  wool yarn since cotton and synthetics can sometimes block the dye from penetrating even when loosely tied. soak the yarn or roving in warm water with a bit of dish soap or shampoo and let it sit for a bit. This helps wet the yarn so that it dyes evenly, if you intentionally don't want the yarn or roving to dye evenly you might want to leave out this step, though some dense rovings and yarns with lanolin in them will float on top of the dye bath if you leave it out. Yarn usually doesn't need to soak for long but dense roving might have to sit for up to an hour.

Add water food coloring and vinegar to a pot. The amount of foodcoloring to water doesn't matter, only the amount of food coloring to the amount of fiber. The amount of food coloring to use is something you have to get a feel for and the color of the dyebath isn't always going to be the color of the yarn, since a small dye bath might be much darker than the finished yarn while a large dye bath may be alot lighter than the finished yarn. The amount of vinegar to water does matter. I usually use about 1/4 cup to every gallon of water. If you hate the smell of vinegar you could use lemon juice or citric acid crystals. If the solution's too acidic then only the outside of the yarn or roving will dye. It's not as exact as I make it sound though, a few good glugs of vinegar should be fine.

Take the yarn or roving out of the soapy water, put it in warm un soapy water to rinse for a minute or two, then take it out of the rinse water and put it in the dye pot.

Heat the dye pot on medium until it reaches 160 degrees and try to keep the temperature between 140 and 160 until the water in the pot turns clear, or the closest its going to get to clear. If you don't have a thermometer heat on medium until it gets hot and steamy but not yet a simmer though, then turn it down to low and keep it there until the water runs clear. If you want the most even dye possible stir the yarn very gently
a few times during dyeing. This means going in with a spoon or whatever and giving one or two very slow stirs. To avoid the risk of felting, I wouldn't reccomend stirring roving.

After it cools, rinse it until no more color, or very little color, runs out. You could then give it a final rinse in water with a tiny bit, like a tablespoon, of vinegar added, I feel it helps keep the color in, but you don't need to do this. Hang to dry. You can squeeze the yarn or roving gently if you want it to dry faster but don't wring.
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2006 07:17:57 AM »

It was actually very easy for me.  Hint...  Yellow grabs onto suffolk like no body's business!  I'm so happy with the saturation!

« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2006 06:23:24 AM »

SAchis - How did the suffolk spin for you?  i got 2 fleeces from a friend, so I washed (and washed and washed, about 5 times), then handcarded and drop-spun.  I had trouble with the staple length though.  I couldn't get them combed out enough and ended up with stubby rolags.  I then thinned them out to spin, but still had huge slubs.  Was yours similar?


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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2007 10:32:22 AM »

Anyone ever work with Tunis wool?  I have about 60lbs at my house right now (offered in my Shop the Swap swap), and about another 200 lbs in the hay loft.  I'm not ready for spinning or anything like that, but I'm ready to try felted soap I think. 

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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2007 01:27:25 PM »

yup, I liked spinning the tunis fleece I had.

I have to wait a few more weeks before I can get in on the swaps though ....


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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2007 01:31:25 PM »

  I then thinned them out to spin, but still had huge slubs. 

Jill, Did you remove all 2nd cuts prior to carding?  It really pays in the long run to spend the extra time to remove 2nd cuts and other undesirable wool prior to washing, and definitely prior to carding.

I have some wonderful merino that I thought I would short cut and didn't remove all the 2nd cuts.  Boy I was sorry when I started carding.

I plan on purposely making slubby yarn, perhaps with some silk bits ...


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