Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Bleach Test - is it wool?

Swatch snippets before the bleach test

The results are in:
The green is pure wool, it vanished completely in the bleach overnight.
Very little fibre is remaining from the tweedie red.  I'd say maybe 50%

*If you try this yourself, use very little bleach, 
a glass dish covered with some plastic wrap, 
or a yogurt container with a lid.
Set it in a well ventilated area, just overnight . 
Always be careful with toxic materials.*

Now that you know it's wool, read my post about fulling wool.
Swatches after bleach test


  1. Hi Colleen. I really love your blog--reading all of your articles and tutorials, one by one. Wow, wow, wow.

    I love everything about hand sewing, beading, and embroidery work on cottons, and now that I've discovered WOOL--my head is spinning and my heart is delighted and inspired by your beautiful work and fabulous blog. Thank you for putting all this information together for WOOL newbies like me.

    Question 1: Darn--I'm finding not all thrift store garments have fabric label information. I suspect it is wool. Does it matter if it isn't 100% wool? I found a couple of nice looking men's jackets yesterday half price, but hesitated to buy either one because there were only fancy brand labels on the interior indicating they were custom made pieces by a professional tailor. I think I'll go back and buy them anyway because I like them. But I do want to know what you suggest.

    Question 2: Since I am a newbie to wool and just getting started reading your great blog . . . can you tell me--do you dye any of your wools to get certain colors you are looking for? I am finding lots of light gray color wool coats and want to know if I could dye them a desirable egg plant color for instance. I have a light caramel color wool coat--could I nudge this color into a mustard color with dye? And, I've been experimenting with Derwent Inktense that come in dry pigment square chalk-like blocks--when mixed with water and heat set with an iron permanently color fabrics. I intend to (play with) add some random color to swatches of those caramel and gray fabrics. Perhaps I'll cut the wool circles and scrape some color on the wool circles' edges and activate with water, then heat set with an iron. Do you mind if I send you photos of this experiment? If you want to write to me, I have a g mail account--mrs.durrant1@ . . .

    Thank you again for such a great blog. I am enjoying learning from you.

    Linda (Mrs. D), Wisconsin

  2. Hi Linda, thanks so much for your comments. Question #1 Men's jackets are generally the nicest wools. They are miserable to take apart and don't offer large pieces. Often the wool doesn't full (felt). Generally it has been treated so that it won't shrink. But if the price is right,go for it. Question #2 Yes, I do over dye some of my wool. This can be lots of fun. Start out easy with tea or coffee dyes. Try using a "bleeder", that is another piece of wool that's colour bleeds out. Purchase household dye, like Rit Dye at the grocer. When you have experimented you can move on to expensive dyes, there are lots of blogs that focus on dyeing. You need to be cautious as some dyes are caustic. Please do lots of research.