Tutorial: Dying with Food Coloring
Listening To: Flathead by The Fratellis
So Yesterday I decided to do some dying and I took pictures along the way, so here’s a little tutorial for ya’ll.
-You’ll need something to dye (In my case, wool roving. But these instructions would work the same way if you wanted to dye yarn. It just needs to be in hank.)
-Food Coloring. I used the McCormick’s stuff.
-A pan (13×9 works well.)
-White Vinegar (Dying with food color is different than dying with Kool-aid. Kool-aid has the Acid built in, and food coloring doesn’t, so I use vinegar for the acid)
-Microwave-safe Containers to hold the dye (Not pictured.)
-An ugly tablecloth to cover the counter (Mine has gingerbread men on it!)
1. Make a bath for your fiber. I fill up the sink with warm water, enough to cover the fiber. Add vinegar (about 1 cup.)
2. Soak Fiber in bath while you prepare the dyes and stuff. It should soak for at least half and hour.
3. Prepare the dyes. I’m using 6 colors, so I need 6 containers (Oops, I only pictured 4. But, you get it.) Pour one cup of warm water into each. Then, to each, add vinegar. I used about 3 tablespoons per cup of water. It’s not really an exact science. The rule is: The more Vinegar, the brighter and more saturated the colors will be.
Heat up the containers in the Microwave for a few minutes, so the water is Hot.
So far so good? My colors are Neon Pink, Neon Purple, Neon Green, Neon Blue, Red, and Yellow.
Start painting! You can do this will a turkey baster, which works well, but I just pour.
Once your fiber looks how you want, It’s time to heat it. Since I used Foil, I can’t put it in the microwave, So I put it in the oven. About 200 degrees for 15 minutes. Then, I took it out, carefully lifted the fiber out of the pan, dumped the contents of the pan, then stuck the fiber back in. It’s been heated in the oven, but I’m always nervous that the colors haven’t had long enough to absorb. So, then I nuke it in the microwave for a while longer.
Ta-da! Looks different, huh? I never really know what will come out, but that’s the fun of it. I’m totally not saying that I’m an expert at this stuff, because I’m not. There are lots of ways out there to dye, but this is how I do it.
Guess what I’ll be doing today? Maybe… spinning?