Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dyeing tweed, wool and silk for little Christmas birdies.

 A year or more ago my dear Mother-in-law gave me three jars of dyes. A Yellow, Fuchsia and Turquoise… basically the three primary colors. I pondered and pandered about how to use them, as there no instructions or even a brand name… what fabric would they work on? Anyhow today I decided to stop screwing around and just experiment.


I did not have any extra pots or pans to donate to become a dye pot so I decided to use a freezer Ziploc bags, a ceramic bowl and then microwave the contents instead of boiling them.

I think I have acid dyes, check out Dharma Trading company to order your own. So after seeing that acid dyes are for fabrics that come from a creature such as wool from a sheep or silk from a worm.  I promptly went to my stash and cut the arm off an old wool suit, cut some pieces of tweed, cut chunks off my silk/rayon, a scrap of pure wool felt and store bought wool/rayon felt.

I say dying was a smashing success. The fabrics that contained rayon are the lighter ones in the photo, rayon is made of plant and acid dyes do not work on plant based fibers. Yet the wool part did take the dye, the silk velvet is so pretty. I can’t wait to make something from it.  


The moral of this story is, I should have been playing with dyes long ago. The microwave worked great, I only nuked each bag about 5 min until the water was clear. I am now eyeing all my fabric wondering if I should throw it into the vat.

Now, what am I doing with wool and felt and silky soft velvet?

I'm making my holiday gift stash… these will become ornaments. I plan to make at least 20 and I’ve just started fleshing out patterns. I do love birdies, this will be fun.


Now imagine these cute little birds made from the colorful  wool felt and tweed pictured above. So cute…

I’m off to create!

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