cold water dyes
  • I have an early 19th century hand spun/woven natural colored wool sheet (yup, in Nova Scotia they used wool sheets) that I would like to dye. I have washed it by hand in luke warm water. It there anyway to dye it without a washing machine or overly hot water? I tried a sample in the washing machine and hot water and the thing fell apart. I love the iDye series and have had wonderful success with them and was hoping to use them for this project. Thanks!
  • Hello!

    I guess a wool sheet isn't a bad idea for the winters they get in Nova Scotia.
    Dyeing your wool sheet is going to require hot water - wool just won't take dye without it. Also, we would recommend using Acid Dye or Super Fast Acid Dye for Wool as you will get much better results on wools over the iDye. Further, rather than using your washing machine which could result in felting and shrinkage of the wool we recommend using the stove top method for dyeing wools.
    There are instructions at our website, but I am happy to discuss this further should you have questions. If you'd like to talk to one of us please feel free to call 800 442 0455.

  • Thank you! Even with the Nova Scotia winters, that wool is scratchy.

    It's a big sheet: 56" x 156" and it weighs 3 lbs on my kitchen scale. I read where one other person dyed a wool coat in a garbage can. Think that would work? Don't know how else to get enough water/fabric ratio. I would just be running boiling water out to the back porch like crazy.
  • The garbage can idea could work - though you're right, it is going to be labor intensive with the boiling water runs.
    One thing to keep in mind with the boiling water - because shocking the wool can cause shrinkage and possibly felting you'll want to start the dye bath in cool water. So it will go like this, pre-dissolve the dye in a couple of cups of hot water, add that to two to three gallons of cool/warm water, add your pre-wetted fabric, swish it around, then begin adding the boiling water taking care to not pour the boiling water onto the fabric. Continue adding boiling water until the temperature has reached at least 180 degrees F. Hope you have lots of big pots!
    The reason for adding the hot water to the cool water is to help prevent shocking the fabric by 'slowly' raising the temperature. You'll also want to stir the fabric gently as the temperature rises as vigorous stirring can also cause felting.
    Another option is to ask your buddy that has that great outdoor deep fat fryer if you can borrow it for the day and find a big ol stainless steel wash tub that will sit on the burner and use that for your dyeing:)!
    Hope this helps - and if you'd like to discuss this on the phone we are more than happy to chat - 800 442 0455
  • Thank you so much! Will order the dye, borrow the non-reactive pot and shovel some snow and get to work! Will report on the success or failure.
  • Like Jean, it's been some years since I have used Dylon dyes as well. I don't think you will have any problem if the nightie you bought is cotton and used with a cold water dye. (Often there may be a synthetic lace or or ribbon). However if it's made of synthetic or a mixture of fibres it definitely would be best to consult with suppliers of the dyes. It's a whole new ball-game out there with fabrics these days and I don't know how common it is for people to dye clothing. Maybe there is a web site for Dylon which will give the exact information you need for the particular fabric you want to dye.

    I remember many moons ago as a teenager dying a jumper which I'd knitted - hot water had to be used and the fabric was a synthetic type - I heated a copper if I remember rightly to get enough water heated for the immersion - wow - the jumper grew many sizes too large for my body of those times - the colour was sopped up OK though!!!! What a laugh it was and what a waste of time, effort and money!!