Dyeing wool

dodders

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I bought a large bag of washed but un-dyed wool with the idea of dyeing. I tried a small amount and it took the dye very well and rightly or wrongly I was careful to not heat the dye bath up too much. I kept this at below 140 deg farenheit (60 deg C). However on drying out it had matted like felt and took an age to unpick it almost strand by strand, so it was easily useable for dubbing. Does anyone else have experience of this and know what to do about it? I wondered about getting a couple of carding brushes or dog brushes, would this work?
 

arkle

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Either would open up the fibre's structure a bit, though it will probably be as easy to teaze it out after dubbing it. You may have had it in the dye bath for to long... next time, get your own smallish flour-type sieve, put the opened out matrix into it & just dunk it for a very few seconds, just enough to ensure it's all wet, then remove it from dye-bath & frun some cold water on it straight away. Pull a few fibres out, dry them on a sheet of kitchen roll, if they're to light, repeat until happy, Temp should be okay, but ensure you have a very small amount of washing detergent in the dyebath, as it helps the dye penetrate.
 
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dodders

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Thank you arkle, that sounds like it may work especially as wool takes dye very easily.
I have also found today that a couple of wire dog underfur brushes work very well with just a few strokes. I'll try and post a picture. The wool on the left is partly felted and the wool on the right is just a pinch of the felted wool brushed with the two dog brushes.
P4100015.JPG
 

darwin

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Phoenix, AZ
Did you stir the wool around a good bit? It sounds like felting to me. That happens with the fibers rub on each other and the scales on the fibers kinda lock together. Wools marketed as 'superwashed' has been processed to reduce/remove the natural wool scales.

Each hair of wool is made up of scales. Felting occurs when these scales bind together. The superwash process prevents the scales from binding in one of two ways. Some superwash wools are given an acid bath that removes its scales.
http://www.lionbrand.com/blog/faq-what-is-superwash-wool/
 

dodders

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Joined
Aug 28, 2010
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Location
St Germans, Cornwall
Did you stir the wool around a good bit? It sounds like felting to me. That happens with the fibers rub on each other and the scales on the fibers kinda lock together. Wools marketed as 'superwashed' has been processed to reduce/remove the natural wool scales.

Each hair of wool is made up of scales. Felting occurs when these scales bind together. The superwash process prevents the scales from binding in one of two ways. Some superwash wools are given an acid bath that removes its scales.
http://www.lionbrand.com/blog/faq-what-is-superwash-wool/
I may have moved the wool around too much as I dyed it along with a couple of capes which were moved around. My original attempt was very felted and this latest (as shown in the photo) was less so and this was probably not stirred as much. I am happy with the end result now that I have found that the wire dog brush works well.
I also guess the type of wool may affect the result as well? The wool in the photo is North Ronaldsay wool which seems fairly fine textured, maybe a coarser wool might bind or felt less?
 

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