Monday, January 18, 2010

The Dye Job

Our converted chicken coop houses a couple of looms, a serious fiber stash, and our dyeing corner. Of course when we dye, we spread out throughout the whole big room. But it's nice to have a place for the supplies to live when we're not actively working with them.

This is our table, when we're actively working, mixing dyes. The table came from a school auction--it's one of those beastly heavy science tables. Yes, this is seriously what it looks like when dyeing is happening. Does it look like a science lab?

After the dyes are mixed, we squirt them onto the prepped yarn (soaked in vinegar/water mixture) which has been laid out on plastic wrap. We then fold the wrap up around each skein after the squirting is done, and microwave it with a little water in the bottom of the tray for 7-8 minutes. This sets the dye. We have a dedicated microwave for this purpose.

At this point, the yarn is too hot to handle, and gets stacked on another table while it cools. Sorry about the photos--plastic wrap is shiny.

We then take it in the house and rinse all the excess dye off. We wash the yarn in synthrapol, spin it out in the washing machine, and let it dry.

Before it's used or sold, we reskein it or wind it into center-pull balls.


  1. Love seeing the process! What beautifully colored yarn there at the end. I really wish I knew how to do something with yarn, because I just love it.

  2. Someday, I'd love to take a field trip to watch you dye! The shearing might interest the kids, but I love color and I would love to watch you working. :)

  3. Lona, that yarn looks fabulous. Thanks for the photos :)

    sarahtee (SL)


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