• I am totally confused. From what I read, I can use acid dyes, procion, iDye and ???

    So how do I decide which to use? I want vivid, bold colors.

  • Acid dyes and Procion dyes are both fiber reactive dyes meaning boldest brightest colors. Procion is for cellulose fibers(plant based) and Acid dyes are for protein fibers(animal derived). Procion looks very pale on wool, so you want acid dyes.

    Idye is a direct dye which is the most generic dye and while it is widely applicable, it does not give you the brightest color possible or the most permanent results.

    Acid dyes are for you.
  • Awesome! Thank you!!
  • I understand I need acid dye for wool using an immersion method...but what if I want to directly hand paint onto the wool. How can I do that? I wouldn't want to immerse the wool, right? How would it set?
  • There are two ways I can think of off the top of my head. The hand painting technique with acid dyes would be to mix it with a thickener like Sodium alginate and make a Gel that would allow you to paint the dye without it bleeding. You would then need to steam the wool, which is difficult and my shrink it, which you probably don't want. The problem is that acid dyes need heat to work.

    A much easier method would be hand painting the wool with Dye-na-flow. It is actually a bright vibrant acrylic paint that sinks in and does not change the way the fiber feels(hand). This should be ironed afterward for washfastness.
  • Alternatively, you can microwave to apply heat. I have used this method successfully with wool yarn.
  • How long do you microwave? It's possible to burn the fiber. Do you keep the entire thing wet?
  • I've microwaved with procion, but that's with the entire piece wet. Yeah... if it's in there too long it burns. Plus, I wasn't happy with the result really. I can't really imagine painting on and then microwaving. I imagine that would do 2 things: quickly dry the dye (I don't know if acid dye needs to stay wet) and take a good chance on burning the material.
  • Hello there!
    I would like to dye a pair of wool trousers but I am worried they will shrink. They are currently a rusty red colour and I would like them to be black or as dark as possible. Any advice on how to achieve this would be great!
  • I have 2 pieces of advice.

    #1 As long as you don't do any quick temperature changes, you should be safe from shrinking. It is quick changes from hot to cold and cold to hot that do it. If you heat your pots slowly and transfer your wool from hot to hottish or warm water, you will be better off than if you rinse immediately in cold water. Just give yourself lots of time transitioning between hot and cold.

    #2 Rust red is an orangey red, so I would consider tinting your black dye with some blue green dye. That is the complementary color to the rust red and will give you less red black at the end and should give you a more neutral one. I would also use 1.5 bottles of black for this. Black needs a little more dye than other colors. I would suggest 10% spruce to neutral out the rust red. So if you use 3 tablespoons of Black dye, use .75 to 1 teaspoon of spruce to knock that red down.