Dyeing wool yarn
  • I have been dyeing wool yarn with acid powder dyes, but wondering how to set the dye once it is finished soaking in dye.
    A book I had said you need to let it simmer for an hour to let it set, but when I do this it bleeds into the other colors.
    I do use vinegar as an acid when mixing the colors.
    Any suggestions?
  • Hi Anne,

    I'll need some more details about how you are using the Acid Dye. Would you mind explaining your method step by step so we can figure out where the issue is?

  • thanks for writing - I got a good book on yarn dyeing called "Dyeing to Knit", but I guess she was using a specific dye. The directions said to mix the vinegar with the powder when making stock colors, not when yarn was in the dye bath. They also said to simmer the yarn for an hour or so after dyeing.
    I found out from Jacquard that there is no need to simmer the yarn and that you need to add vinegar to the dye bath. Also, use synthrapol when rinsing the yarn.
    I am hoping I am okay now.
    I am doing this with a friend and we are just starting. Any feedback would be welcome!
    thanks again!
  • If you don't simmer the yarn, you'll probably want to steam-set. Acid dyes are not cold water dyes and work much better when applied with heat.

    Try soaking your yarn with vinegar water (one part white vinegar to three parts water), squeezing out excess liquid, and either sprinkling dye powder on different parts of the yarn, or painting with one or two teaspoons of acid dye dissolved in a cup of water. Then wrap the yarn up in plastic wrap and steam it for forty-five minutes, just as you would steam vegetables. (When sprinkling dry dye powder, be careful to wear a well-fitted dust mask or respirator, wear gloves and old clothes, and work outside so you don't get dye dust floating around in your house.)

  • Paula
    thanks for your directions. We have yet to use plastic wrap to steam yarn; will have to try that.