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 Hand Dye Wool Roving
4oz. Fiber: 1C Vinegar
Glass Baking Pan
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.
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.
Pop 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.
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?