Learning to Dye Wool Top Roving

I have been dying yarn for about four years now, and I mostly dyed cotton yarns because of the ease. With cotton you can literally buy any tie-dye kit, soda ash, and have your yarns turn out amazing. With wool it’s not as easy. I have been researching and learning about it lately. Here’s a photo stream of the progress.

First Time Wool Dying


Second Time Wool Dying


Third Time: Cobalt clothes dye
and Turquoise food coloring
Third Time (Did them both Together Different pans)
Deep Purple (Clothes Dye)

The next few I did over the course of a few days and I’m counting it as the final time because that’s as many times as I’ve dyed, but I did them pretty much the same way, except the pink which was done with food coloring and not clothes dye.

All of my solids together
Carmine Red


Neon Pink Food Coloring


True Orange


Golden Yellow


Lemon Yellow


Lime Green






Mixture of Deep Purple, Cobalt, and Lilac Purple


As you can see the dyes don’t exactly look like their name colors. The type of dye I used is more for cotton, although with the vinegar it worked with the wool okay. However the wool took on the color of the powder more than the color of the liquid it makes. When I dye cotton the colors look like their names sound. The next time I do this I am definitely using Wilten’s food color gels. I am quite proud of this stuff though because these phone pictures don’t even do them justice.
I chose to do them in the oven, I have a one year old and it is so much easier when I can put something somewhere, set a timer, then go back and check it. The oven method I used was a mashup between all the articles I read. Once I perfect my dying method, I will share it with you guys!
What things did you find difficult the first few times you dyed wool? If you haven’t dyed wool yet, what things about handspun yarns do you like the most?

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