Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Dyeing thread or yarn with Procion MX dye

Here's how I dye yarn for couching.

On a piece of shelf liner (Bed, Bath and Beyond has the widest I've found so far) put separate patches of dyes in the colors you wish to use. My stash is short on blues, so that's what I'm dyeing here.

Preparing to dye yarn
 Remember how we organized the yarn so it wouldn't be a tangled mess after dyeing? You can see the synthetic wool I used for tying. It will not take the dye and will make it easy to untie the bundle after dyeing. The yarn is already soda soaked. In fact it is dripping wet. I find that soda saturated fiber takes the dye best. If it is dry it will take a great deal of dye to get good coverage.

 Now I take my gloved hands and mix and mingle the dye as desired to make the colors I want in the yarn. I prefer to work with small amounts of dye and add more as needed, since the soda ash from the fiber is going to be all over the work surface. This will contaminate the dye, so I don't want to put any dye back into my dyestock as the soda ash will start reacting with the dye stock. What's on the shelf liner stays on the shelf liner! Once I have the colors I want, it's batch and wash as normal. I tend to handwash the yarn as I don't want felting, and since I use it for couching it's ok if it's not as colorfast as the standard I hold my fabric to. Commercially dyed variegated yarns and threads tend to shoot for a one inch change in tone/color, so I aim for that too. Ish.
Yarn dyed by pulling the colors together from pools of dye concentrate

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