Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wool Wednesday Part 3 - Dying Wool

Lets dye some wool, yipppeeeee!!!

Here's some things you will need and / or are optional.

Today we will be using the following:
White Vinegar
A Measuring Cup
Food Coloring
Easter Egg Dye, perfect timing, I bought mine after Easter so real bargain there regularly $2.99 on clearance for 30 cents each (always love a bargain). Did I mention I bought like 12, lol.

A Glass Cake Pan (8 X 8 or 9 X 9), minus my Son's Birthday Brownie, hahaha
A Canning Jar ( I used an Alfredo Jar, recycling friendly)
Warm Tap Water
Wooden Spoon (optional)
Rubber Gloves (optional)
and a Microwave

Note: I haven't tried the Kool-Aid yet, that will come another time
Pretty easy so far, huh

Line your pan with wool, I pull my locks by the tips for this part. Lay them side by side in your pan, my locks were short enough to do two rows. Add another layer. In your measuring cup put about 3/4 of cup of water, add a glug (yep a glug, that's the term used in most of the YouTube Videos I watched, high tech here!!). Add your food coloring, here we have used red, note the red will have more of a pink tone to it then red when mixed with the water so don't be to stingy with it, but you don't need it all either. You will get a better feel for this after a couple of batches.

Now pour it gently over your wool, tap your wool down gently with the end of a wooden spoon (I apparently like to get messy as I just use my fingers) into your liquid. Now your off to do something else for about 10-15 minutes, longer is fine, I've gotten busy and didn't come back for a couple of hours, so no problem. Come back make sure it is totally wet, if you need to add a little water be sure to also add a bit more vinegar as that is what sets your dyes. You want it to just cover your wool, to much and it is going to splatter all over the inside of your microwave, yeah I did that too. Okay we are ready to microwave it.

Place it into the microwave and cook it for 5 minutes, check it, looks good, cook another 2 minutes, done. Okay, it is going to be super hot, so use those OVEN MITTS!! Set it out to cool, about 30 minutes to an hour. We're ready to rinse. Squeeze the excess liquid out, no ringing or twisting, fill your dish with cool water, place your wool back in to the dish, gently patting it. Repeat this oh about 3-4 times to you have clear water and your getting rid of the vinegar smell. Time to dry again.

For this look, the rainbow effect with bits of white showing. Place your wool into your pan as before. Yep water and vinegar but no color this time. Pour over your wool as before, let sit, check wetness and water level. Okay now your ready to dye. Place drops of food coloring on to your wool. About 5 drops across each row of the colors you've chosen leaving a bit of space between each row of color. Gently tap it down into your liquid with your wooden spoon, I recommend that you rinse your spoon when changing colors. Time to microwave. Repeat cooking, cooling and rinsing as before.

Okay now lets give the Easter Egg Dye a try. Grab that canning jar or your recycled glass jar. Fill it about half way or a little less, add a glub of vinegar, throw in your Easter Egg Dye Tablet, let it dissolve and stir. Now pull off a clump of your wool and push it into your jar. You may need to add a bit more water just to cover the top of your wool. It's ready to microwave. This time you will cook it only 2 minutes, remove from the microwave, don't forget those OVEN MITTS, this one is going to be even hotter than the last process. Let cool, this one takes much longer to cool. Once cool, you repeat cooking for 2 more minutes in the microwave and let it completely cool. Now your ready to rinse and dry as before. So there you have it. You just dyed your own wool, it was really easy, huh.

Of coarse I had mine all over the kitchen drying and this morning my husband says to me when I got up. I went in the kitchen to make coffee and it looked like Toucan Sam threw up all over the kitchen, lol, I haven't a clue as to why??? Hahahahahahahahaha

So what did I learn: I loved this process, it was lots of fun!!! The colors are amazing!!

Generally you will find that all of the color is absorbed by your wool during the microwaving process but I did find that there was color left in the water and vinegar mixture after using the Blue Easter Egg Dye, so add a bit of red coloring and another glub of vinegar and make yourself some purple as shown in the above picture. This is a very kitchen friendly process, your ingredients are all food safe so there isn't any need for separate dishes or utensils for this project. When your done dyeing, just wash as normal, loving that!! Oh one more thing, be warned your kitchen and microwave are going to have a high concentration of vinegar smell, although it didn't bother me a bit, my husband and son were totally grossed out, lol.

So what's next: I hope to try the Kool-Aid Kettle Dying Next, can't wait, can you????

I loved this Youtube video on rainbow dyeing with Ruthann McCaully

Also here is the link for processing your own wool again: HJS Studio

Next Wool Wednesday Kettle Dying with Kool Aid!!

Also Lori of Flossie Kat's Korner left the best tips in my last Wool Wednesday Post for washing your wool in the washer, so be sure to check that out as well. I will be giving it a try my next wash day, it's going to really cut the time of washing, whoooo hoooo!! Lori makes the cutest miniature needle felted critters, so she has plenty of experience at processing her own wool, be sure to check out her adorable creations on her blog.

Okay, it looks like a lot but it really isn't, it is super easy and fun!! Give it a try!!!

Woolly Wednesday To All!!!!

Enjoy your week!!!


  1. Excellent tutorial, Brenda! And your colors look great! I had a laugh though when I saw your first photo. .I thought, "My stars! That girl even has treats ready for herself during the soaking periods!" lol And not a bad must keep up one's energy. Suddenly I have a craving for brownies. .

  2. Brenda this looks like so much fun to do. Loving the easy clean up. The colors are fantastic. I so want to try doing this! When it is all finished, what do you do with it? I really have no clue. With the weather being in the 90's at home, I could do this outside and the dry time wouldn't take to long at all. Loving seeing all of this step by step.


  3. This is just soooooo cool!!! I've heard of bear artists dyeing mohair with KookAid too ~ I just may have to try this myself. A tie-dyed mouse perhaps? lol

    I think the brownies are an integral part of step number 1 ~ ya know, the standing around looking at all the colors determining the one you wanna try first, etc, etc. If I were still in Sayre we'd have dye parties together!!

  4. Brenda,My mouth flew open as I read you wonderful tutorial..Wow..This looks really cool and the colors are just beautiful..I have to add however...the brownies distracted me a bit...stay focused Cat...anyway..I love love love your post and wonderful brownies..I mean tutorial..Hugs-Cat

  5. I am laughing so hard at what your hubby said! LOL!! He is as funny as you are! Those colors are amazing. What ARE you going to do with it? I would take up needle felting. :) Happy weekend - come visit me, I am having a giveaway! xox

  6. BRENDA! hahahaha! I love 3rd place. How can I resist that mug? hee hee! Okay, wait, I can't enter my own giveaway! Thank you for the giggles, and I love you, too! xox

  7. Thank you ladies for all of your kind words on my tutorial!! I hope you are all enjoying our Wool Wednesdays as much as I love doing them for all of you!!

    Laura, I think a little tie dye bear would be so cute!!

    Now ladies keep your eyes on the brownies, I mean prize, I mean wool, lol. Suzie you are so right one should keep up one's strength, hummmmm.

    What are we going to do with all of this wool???

    LOL Pam, hehehehehe.


  8. wahhh...perhaps I can try it my self one day..hehehe! just love the rainbow color...

    happy weekend! greetings from Sweden..