I have been dyeing fabric for a bajillion years and love it. I feel like it’s instant gratification. With all the popular felt projects and fall coming I thought I would see if I could dye wool/wool felt. I bought some 100% wool that takes the dye as more pastel in color but the National Nonwoven, 35% wool/65% rayon takes Dyelon amazingly well! See for your self.
I started dying in ziploc baggies, Easiest thing to do for just a hobby dyer like me. I bought my fabric at Joann’s (with a coupon) and bought Dylon dye packets while I was there. I washed my fabric as the directions said to do so. I would think you need to remove the natural oils as much as possible. I cut my fabric about 9-12 inches wide. You will notice that your fabric shrinks after the first washing, The hotter the water the more shrinking!
I used warm water about 3 cups per each baggie/bowl, Then I added the dye, I would wear a mask of some sort and gloves for sure( my glove has a hole in it and I had a purple finger, my daughter thought I did something to it.) Use a plastic spoon to mix dye. Then I added # tablespoons kosher course salt(non iodized), mix again and throw your fabric in.
So you might get mad at me but I just throw dye in the bag. I never put a full bag in and achieved beautiful results but I also mix colors too.
I probably put half bag in for pure colors, I worked with a couple colors at a time and mixed it up, My favorite thing to do is add a color, throw the fabric in then add a TINY bit of black, I mean like a pinch of salt.
To obtain consistent coloring, frequently rotate the fabric in the bag and keep coating it, The bag said 45 mins then wash with cold water and dry. The first batch I washed out in the washer and it is very thick! The rest I dried on towels outside, it seems colorfast. I also stretched the fabric before laying out to keep it thinner
- throw the fabric in and don’t mix it, make sure it is submerged, The outer edges will pick up more color and the fabric that’s bundled inside will be lighter.
- throw fabric into color swish around, then sprinkle black, mix again, you can leave a little fabric out of water so you get variations, do this with fuchsia, blues, I promise you will love the coloring!
- mix the dyes. Keep in mind you need a lot of yellow, so add a little fuchsia or a little red to achieve a different yellow, too much and you will be close to fuchsia or red, they are very strong colors! Keep the total dye around 1/2 bag to the 3 cups water, If you have a bigger piece more water, more dye, more salt.
- Do not think that the color you see in the bag is the color you get. Each color activates at different times so you almost will never get the color in the bag. Darker , purer colors need more dye.
The very last picture is where I put the fabric in pure fuchsia, rolled it around, added a TINY bit of black and rolled only some of the fabric in the dye, I made sure I left fabric out of the dye bath as well! Super pretty!
Have fun with this. I’m always excited when I see the final piece, Do you love all of this felt…what would you do with, Follow along to see what I get done today!