Number of Lessons: 5
Price: US$ 50.00
Tutor: Marjorie McWilliams
Start Date: To Be advised
It’s easy to dye your own custom colors on wool fibers such as flannel, felt, roving or yarn. In this five lesson course, I will show you how to dye solid colors, mottled colors, bright or pastel colors, and combinations of hues on the same piece of wool for a spectrum of beautiful results. Making your own colors will take your wool projects to a new level of artistic sophistication and professionalism.
In most of the lessons, we will be using acid dyes on our wool fibers. Having the correct kind of dye and using 100% wool products are absolutely essential for your success in this class. Do not substitute other kinds of dye or supplies that are NOT on this list. They will not make you happy. If you have questions, contact me before you spend the money and are disappointed with your results.
It is possible to use wool blends as long as they are protein (animal) based fibers. Good blends include wool/mohair, wool/alpaca, and wool/silk. Other combinations such as soy silk and nylon work well with acid dyes but we will primarily be working with wool fibers. You can try a few blends such as wool/cotton or wool/bamboo, but the cellulose-based fibers will take the dye differently from wool. The primary fibers used in the class projects should be wool.
Supplies marked with an asterisk (*) are available online at these fine stores:
You will need:
* Acid dyes. I recommend that you buy 8 ounces of powdered dye for each color, which will be more than enough to do all the projects in all the colors in each class. You can buy a minimum of TWO 2 ounce jars of each color if you want to be on the conservative side, but if you plan on dyeing more than the minimum in each lesson, buy the 8-ounce jars.
Here are the names and numbers used to identify the colors at these major companies.
Dharma Acid Dyes
Pro-Chem - PRO WashFast Acid Dye
Jacquard Acid Dyes
#621-Sky Blue or #623-New Blue
Maiwa - Ciba Washfast Acid Dyes
Kemtex Acid Dyes (Acid Milling)
There are many fine places to buy 100% wool fibers. I offer the basics on my web site, www.fabricdesigns.com. Click on supplies.
Make sure the wool products that you select are a very light, natural color and not already black or dark brown.
*If you plan on dyeing wool yarn only, expect to have a minimum of about 400 yards that you can break into smaller skeins of about 30 yards each to test the projects in class.
*If you will be dyeing wool roving only, have a minimum of about 21 yards for the projects in class. The roving can be cut into a minimum of 13 lengths each measuring 58" in length.
If you will be dyeing only wool felt, flannel or fabric, then expect to have on hand a minimum of 2 yards in whatever width it comes in - 36", 45" or 60". We will cut the fabric into different sizes as we go along.
If you would like to experiment with a combination of all of the above, then plan accordingly.
The wonderful thing about these classes is that you can pick and chose which colors and projects you would like to do for your own fiber art needs. Some students will want to do all the projects and all the colors, which is wonderful! Plan accordingly.
Citric acid powder (1 pound), or white vinegar (8 ounces). If the smell of vinegar is unpleasant to you, you can use the citric acid powder. The vinegar smell goes away with rinsing and air-drying. There is no advantage to using one over another.
Any containers, spoons, tongs or thermometers you use with dye should never again be used for food preparation or storage. Make plans to store these items outside the kitchen.
You will need:
OPTIONAL for Spice and Natural Dye Section-Alum- *Alum (Aluminum ammonium sulfate) powder - This can be found at pharmacies, in grocery stores in the canning/pickling sections, or at www.fabricdesigns.com in the supplies section. This chemical makes beautiful gray and blue colors when used as a mordant instead of vinegar. Alum is a generic name for several sulfate compounds containing aluminum. Some tea stain dyers insist that Potassium aluminum sulfate is the best alum for tea dyeing although I have tried both and see very little difference. The only real difference is the price and the very important fact that Potassium aluminum sulfate is poisonous! Use care when handling and be sure to use designated utensils if you choose to use this kind of alum.
If you are having difficulty locating this item, go to http://shop.mccormick.com/products.cfm. Type in "Alum" in the product search slot and you can order it directly from them.
UK source - www.frankherringandsons.com/?section=products&prod=810 or Artvango.
Australian source - www.pharmacyonline.com.au/david-craig-alum-powder-100g
Glass, stainless steel, enamel or porcelain lined are the best for dyeing wool. Aluminum pots and pans are okay for wool dyeing but not acceptable for your natural dyeing projects, as the color can be affected by the chemistry of the pot. Galvanized tools or pans will rust and corrode eventually, so they are not recommended. They should not be aluminum or copper.
Thrift stores are wonderful sources for many of these items. I have four burners and therefore have four pots for wool dyeing which saves time if you are a multi-tasking person. If you can find an enamel electric turkey-roasting pan that will only be used for dyeing wool, you have hit the jackpot!
Remember, once used, these items will be dedicated to dyeing purposes only.