The magical change from white to dyed wool happens in an acid dye solution at a high temperature. The yarn consists of a blend of 80% wool and 20% ramie:
Except for the pink, the yarns were dyed twice.
Results after dye bath 1:
For the first dye bath I dissolved commonly used acid dye powder for wool and silk and mixed them to make other colors. I recently bought some with this rainbow dye kit at a fair in the Netherlands:
- some white roving (100% wool) for future use in felting projects was also dyed
- the moss green and orange roving were dyed by immersion
- for the chartreuse roving and the yarns I used methods that yields gradations in colour and intensity of colour
The recipes and methods used are from Marjie McWilliams who gives on-line classes in "Wool Dyeing" at Quilt University.
Isn't it amazing that wool, a fiber of animal origin, can also be dyed with acidified Procion dye solutions, instead of the commercial acid dyes who are mostly used?
After making the dye solutions, I was curious to know their acidity. Because I once worked in chemical labs I know I could use a pH indicator paper strip:
A solution is called acid when it has a low pH (like 4).
Pure water is said to be neutral, with a pH close to 7.0 at 25 °C (77 °F).
I wondered what acidified Procion would do with the colours of the yarns from dye bath 1.
Results after dye bath 2:
I re-dyed the yarns by immersion in different acidified and diluted Procion dye stock-solutions from the refrigerator:
- golden yellow (MX-3RA) for the purple-blue-green yarn
- fire engine red (MX-BRA) for the orange gradation yarn
- violet (MX-G) for the purple gradation yarn
What will double dyeing with acid and Procion dyes do on silk or mixtures with a silk component?
Silk is also a fiber of animal origin but can both be dyed at low pH at a high temperature with commercial acid dyes, and, like the plant-based fiber cotton, with Procion dyes at low (room) temperature (see my blogs on hand dyed silk and cotton). In Procion dye solutions the soda creates a pH higher than 7 and vinegar or citric acid creates a pH lower than 7.
I still have some silk fabric and threads left and I already ordered 100% wool yarn.
Just need more time for doing future experiments!
For a better view you can click on the pictures or go to the album Dyed Fabrics & Threads
Thank you for your visit!