Crafting, Tutorials

How To Hand Dye Wool Roving

There is something about January that seems so bleak, so today I have decided I am going to teach you guys how to hand dye wool roving, eventually to hand spin into yarn. I am using the oven food coloring method. It may make my house smell like vinegar for a day, but I can get over that when I see how awesome my final product looks. I only have dyes that are for cotton fabrics.

How To Dye Wool Purl Moon Co. Blog www.purlmoon.com

The first time I did this was the other day and it turned out not to be so great. I was a little drunk when I tried this. First time drinking in over four months and I decide to dye some roving. It was just on the list of really good ideas that can’t be screwed up…In all honesty it didn’t turn out as bad as it could have been. I can salvage it by spinning it and re-dying it I think.
Today I think the color went far better than the other day. My only problem is the blue I am using doesn’t really seem to be working. The purple is such a purple I can’t capture it on camera. I can’t wait for it to dry so I can spin it!

How To Hand Dye Wool Roving

4oz. Fiber: 1C Vinegar
Glass Baking Pan
Food Coloring
Glass Measuring Cup

With wool roving you always want to be careful not to agitate it too much or it will felt. Heat shock is another concern so you want to start out cool and raise the temperature gradually, to prevent it from felting.

How To Dye Wool Purl Moon Co. Blog www.purlmoon.com

Soak the fiber in water with vinegar but, without the dye over night. After the fiber has soaked you may begin to add the dye. Very gently you may move the fiber around to make sure that the color is going to be absorbed into all of it. I loved using my glass dish, because I was able to see through the bottom and move the dye around a little to ensure that each part was getting some dye to it.

How To Dye Wool Purl Moon Co. Blog www.purlmoon.comPop it in the oven at 250 for an hour, check to see if the water is clear. If it isn’t, which happens, pop it back in at 350 for another 30 minutes. After that it really won’t take much more in.

Let it cool thoroughly, for a few hours. Pour the liquid off of it, and gently put the fiber into a strainer.

Pour water over it to rinse it, making sure that you’re not directly pouring on one area too long. This helps to keep the felting down. Let it strain for a while longer.

Tip the fiber onto a towel, and let it dry for a while longer. I let it dry for several hours, and even took to hanging it up so it could dry even longer.

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I am so excited, I absolutely loved spinning this roving into yarn. I didn’t finish spinning it yet, but it looks pretty great. What are some of your favorite hand spun yarns? Which colors do you think look best together with hand spun?

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