We’ve been experimenting with dyeing fleece with Greener Shades acid dyes & I wanted to post some pictures of how it turned out. We’re doing mostly water immersion in a crock pot but I also did smaller batches in mason jars as well as a bit of low immersion dyeing.
I honestly don’t know why I was so intimidated about dyeing fleece. Once I figured out the dye-to-fleece ratio, it is *super* easy. And ridiculously addictive! My 6 year old has volunteered to help me, and she asks every day if we are going to dye fleece.
I really like using a crock pot, as I can literally set it and forget it. It’s nice & stable and contained which fits great in the studio, and I don’t have to worry about little fingers getting burned as opposed to using a pot on a burner. I like it so much I want to start scouring thrift shops for used ones so I can do several colors at once.
I think the most important thing is to write everything down so I know how to replicate the color later. I’ve started a binder which has a sample of the fleece, the kind of fleece & the process used to obtain the color. We’re concentrating on doing 2 colors at once to see what shades and effect can be obtained.
This is washed fleece but not yet carded. My mind would glaze over carding plain white fleece over & over! I find it easier to wash the fleece, then dye it. Carding takes place after. We (my oldest & I – her second favorite thing to do these days is to turn the crank on the carder) carded a sample of dyed fleece & I’m happy with the results. For now I see no advantage of carding to batts or roving first before dyeing. Especially since I plan to blend colors before spinning.
I am going to keep a binder as well of what the fleece looks like carded, as well as “recipes” of the fleece types and colors blended so if I want more in the future it will be easier to replicate.
Writing everything down is a big deal for me, because I am such an “on a whim” kind of spirit. But the binders will definitely keep my sanity! Let’s face it: art yarn is one of a kind so I will never be able to make a totally identical replica. But if I like something and want to spin it again this will be a good way to get at least a close second. 🙂
If you want to watch a great video on getting started dyeing fiber, I recommend “Dyeing in the Kitchen“.