Monday, November 17, 2008

Threads to Dye For

What thread to use?
What thread is the best?
Does it matter?
What is the look I want?
What colour would be best?
All good questions.
Rule number 1 - there are no rules!
I've used floss, string, perle cotton, wool, crochet thread.
I always come back to crochet thread. It's flat, no sheen.
Very good for primitive work.
It comes in lots of colours, different gauges, easy to find and is easy to dye.
My preference is #10.
Here is an example of one of my dyeing experiments.
I wanted to change the colour of some yellow and pale green thread.
I've experimented on blues, whites, beiges, just about any light colour.

First cut the thread into hanks about 1 yard or 1 metre long.
I have about 100 threads in each hank.
Try setting your swift to one yard,
make 100 passes and then snip the circle of thread.
Or, set up two chairs and wind around one back to the other, or two kids?
Two husbands? (just kidding)
Soak the threads (you must pre soak). Prepare your dye bath.
I'm not going to talk about dye baths, because I'm only a dabbler in dye.
I like to experiment and I'm still learning lots from others.

I always use vinegar to set the dye.
I have placed 6 hanks of the thread into this pot.
Stir, stir, stir, stir. And then stir some more.

When you are satisfied that the dye has been taken up enough, pour it off.
(sometimes I let the pot sit overnight)
This is a fast batch to show how I do this.

Lots and lots and lots of rinsing now,

Keep rinsing, soon, your bundles will separate themselves, really.

More rinsing and rinsing.

See, the hanks are showing themselves,
gently separate while you rinse.

There they are!

At this point I have "rinsed, slapped and snapped"
the hanks in order to straighten them out.
(It really is an outside or laundry room sink job.)

Look at what yellow and green, biege and taupe can become!

Allow them to drip dry and then twist and label.
I usually make a note about the colour I started with
and the dye mixture I used, for future reference.

There you have it, my way of dyeing threads.

Has anyone made a sewing clutch yet?

1 comment:

  1. No, I haven't made a clutch yet, but it's on the list to do. I have a ton of Christmas stuff to finish still!

    Love the dying threads tutorial, and I would have to say that #10 flat crochet cotton is my thread of choice too!