Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dying wool roving with Peruvian dyes

Dying wool roving was something I've wanted to try, since I just got a new needle felting machine for Mothers Day. I visited Peru last Christmas and bought some dyes in a market, and thought this would be a great time to experiment with them.

It was so easy! Here's what I did:
  • I used a pound of merino wool that I ordered online from Alpaca Direct, and cut it into 1 oz. lengths (somehow, I must have gotten the measurements a little wrong, since I ended up with 18 "1 oz." sections from a 16 oz. ball of wool.....).
  • For the mordant, I soaked the wool in a 10% alum solution. A small jar of alum from the grocery store was 1.9 oz..... close enough to the weight of the wool that I was dying, so I emptied the jar into a bucket of warm water and soaked my 1 oz. bundles for an hour.
  • For each 1 oz. bundle, I put 2/32 of a tsp. dye into a jar, and then added 1/2 c. warm water and a scant 1/4 c. white vinegar, plus the wool. I stirred it around with a chopstick, then placed 6 jars at a time into a baking tin filled about half way with water (like a bain marie), and put it into a 275 degree oven for 45 minutes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wish I had some of those dyes, too.