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Fiber Dye Day on the Farm

Dream Come True Fiber FarmHi, everyone, I'm back to share what I did this morning here on the farm. I spent the entire morning doing some small batch fiber dyeing. We are having quite the event here on the farm this weekend. I mentioned it in the previous post but it’s worth mentioning again. Suzy Brown, aka Wool Wench, is coming to the farm to do a workshop on blending fiber, art yarn spinning and plying. Suzy is from the Netherlands and is teaching a few workshops on the East Coast. We were to have some fibers dyed and ready to go. So this morning I got out my Goodwill purchased slow cookers and did some small batch dyeing to add to a color scheme that is in my mind. How I do my small batch dyeing is what I thought I would share with you today.

small batch dey tips and technique

Tools needed:

1. Slow cookers that will be used for dyeing only. I found all of mine at Goodwill for only a few dollars each.

2. I use Country Classic dyes. They are a one-step dye power. They can be purchased online.

3. water

4. fiber

5. wooden spoon

dye day 1

Step 1. Wet the fiber in a sink with hot water for 20 minutes. This is to allow the dye to be absorbed with ease.

Step 2. Fill your slow cookers with hot water and turn them on high

Step 3. Add your dye according the instructions on the jar.

Step 4. Take out your fiber and add it to the slow cookers, making sure it is all covered. You can press it down ever so gently with a wooden spoon. I say gently so the fiber won’t felt.

Step 5. Cover your pots.  In 15 minutes, turn the temp to low and set the timer for 30 minutes. DO NOT uncover.

Step 6. When your time is up, take one pot at a time and dump it into the sink. Be careful, it will be hot. Then fill the sink up with hot water for a rinse. After about 10 minutes, drain the sink and repeat until  sink water is fairly clear. Try not to change the temp of the water by much in between the rinsing, again so as not to felt the fiber. When the water is fairly clear or completely clear, pick up the fiber and gently give it a light squeeze to drain some of the water from the fiber. Transfer it to a screen to dry. A screen will allow air flow from the top and bottom, drying the fiber quicker.  If you do not have one, you can lay out on a towel in the sun.

Repeat Step 6 with each slow cooker of fiber.

dye day 2

I use this technique for all my small batch dyeing. I find it really simple and always successful.

Today the fiber I dyed was Pygora goat locks, a small handful of Wensleydale sheep locks and silk hankies that will be used while learning our new plying technique. It should be an adventurous day. I’ll blog all about it next week! This fiber will be blended with an already dyed sheep wool that I had and wanted to work around the color scheme.

See you soon with more adventures from Pam's Fiber at Dream Come True Farm.

dye day 4