An experiment in dyeing yarn

I've dyed stuff before, one cotton jacket and one cotton dress, and both turned out perfectly. I figured dyeing my scrummy merino would be just as easy. So armed with a couple of packets of Dylon Bahama blue and a pair of rubber gloves, I took over the dining room table and started dyeing.

All was going so well until I realized that I had 600 grams of yarn and only enough dye for 500 grams. And that my bowl couldn't fit the required 12 litres of water. So I improvised. And that may have been a bad idea. I decided to halve the water, and only dye two skeins, instead of three. And then I didn't have quite enough salt. But I did it anyway.

For an hour my pretty merino swam around in the turquoise dye, and after a lot of rinsing and surprisingly no tangling, out it came to dry.

It's not as vibrant as I wanted. And I think it's a combination of my not following instructions and that wool dyes a bit lighter than cotton. Once it's dry I'll have another look and see if it's going to contrast enough with the original cream for my next project, the Funchal Moebius. If it's not, I'll dye it navy!


  1. did you use some vinegar? Wool being a protein fibre requires an acid base to dye and usually works better with a dye designed for protein fibres. The one time I used a dye not specifically designed for wool I still used vinegar and it did come out lighter than the cotton dyed with the same dye, but not as much lighter as yours did. I've never used dylon on wool but I've used Kool Aid (which is already acidic so no vinegar required) and I've used the acid dyes like Jacquard and Ashfords which give really good colours. I have to say dyeing wool is great fun, hoping to do some these holidays with my boys.

  2. I didn't use vinegar, but I will give that a try tomorrow when I do round two! Thanks so much for the tip!


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