When I started dyeing yarns, I came from completely different experiences, yet I found that my old job had much to do with this new way of working and producing hand-dyed yarns.
Dye the yarn by hand
My first yarn dye was a success, a mediocre success, and yet, thanks to the first tests I found the desire to continue studying and to deepen always new dyeing techniques.
I’ll show you the first result I got: it’s a dye of a kind that, as regards the world of yarns, most of the indie dyers call solid, but that in reality I immediately called flat, thanks to the knowledge I had and I want to talk to you about.
This is the first result:
Beyond the photographic pose, as you can see it is a solid color yarn. This is the first collection I made and which is called precisely Prima Collection >> if you click on the link you can see all the colors I’ve made.
I knew that for the first collection I would have to opt for acid dyes that were well suited to the fiber structure of the yarn I had chosen to use, a 100% merino. Instead for this first dyeing campaign I had only direct dyes available.
I only open a parenthesis to tell you of the difficulty I have in finding acid dyes for yarns in Italy, given the enormous difficulties of importation. In a future article, maybe I will tell you about it.
Coming from the environment of screen printing, it was easy for me to contact a distributor friend of liquid direct pigments from which I could purchase a first supply of color bases. I gave up the solidity of acid dyes, but I had a great desire to start dyeing my yarns.
Knowing that I had to use direct pignemti, I prepared the yarn-dressing >> also by exaggerating with potassium alum. The potassium alum would have assured me a total cleaning of the yarn and a better reception of the non-solid color. The result would have been surprising.
I put you only two of the first colors I made, if you want, click on their images to see all the dyes I’ve done.
But I’ll explain briefly how I made the first tint: Pentolone on the fire and water temperature monitored at a maximum of 85 °, without ever going below 80 °. Dilution of a few grams of dye and waiting for a couple of minutes while waiting for the color to dissolve completely.
Only at this point have I plunged the skeins making sure that they do not get tangled. 45 minutes of cooking without ever moving the yarns in the bathroom. Once cooked (dyed) I let it cool in the pan until it reaches room temperature.
The following day, I rinsed all the coils dyed with mild detergent to get them out of excess color.
More or less, my first hand dyeing was this, if you have different experiences and you want to talk about it, or if you want advice on how to start dyeing, send me an email, I’ll be happy to share what I know with you or to learn new things.
I wait for you!