So here is a short tutorial on how to dye some wool using Jacquard's iDye. I wanted to start another series of process picts for my newest sculpture. So in the coming days (or weeks depending on how fast I get this piece done) I will be showing the complete process of creating my newest Felted Sculpture A Tattoo-Inspired Sparrow. Sh here is the first step....
I dye with iDye...
Start by pre-soaking your wool in a warm bath of water with a splash of vinegar. Pre-soaking your wool helps the fibers open up & gets them ready to receive the dye. It also helps with getting a nice even overall dyed color.
While your wool is soaking, get you pot of hot water started on the stove. I have a specific pot that I use for dying so that I don't make stew or something that ends up slightly blueish in color.
I wanted to dye my wool a nice blue color. Be sure to check out these iDyes cause they have so many yummy colors made for natural dyes. They are technically made to be thrown into you washing-machine, but I've found it's super easy to use them on the stove top!
You will be adding some white vinegar to the pot of hot water. This is used as the dye's MORDANT, which is to help set the dye in the fibers. I'm not quite sure of all the science-type stuff on it, but it has to do with attracting the dye molecules and affixing them to the individual wool fibers. You can use this method with cotton fibers, the only difference is that you will use Salt as the Mordant!
Now add your dye to the pot. Since you are controlling the amount of dye for the wool, you can add as little or as much depending on how saturated you want the color to be. I wanted a medium (not too light, not too dark) so I added a little bit, then added more about 1/2 way through.
So add the dye, add the vinegar, then add you wool! Be sure to gently stir the wool through the time of dying. You don't want to aggressively stir the wool cause it will start to felt (which I have done) but you want to be sure to move the fibers around. This will help with getting even color coverage.
Now let the wool sit & cook for about 1/2 hour.
All dyed! You will be able to see if the dye has been completely soaked up by looking at the left-over water. It should be fairly clear. If your water is still dark or opaque, then you either added too much dye & your fiber can't take anymore, or you need to leave it in the water for longer. I've also just pulled wool out after a short time cause I wanted a lighter color *This may cause bleeding because the dye has not had time to set.
All done & just hanging up to dry. Should be ready for me to use tomorrow. I have a home-made clothes line hanging outside my window with some twine & clothes pins. Not that pretty or strong, but just perfect to hang tufts of wool!!
I love dyeing wool because I get to control what colors I make, but also get surprised & inspired by anything that I wasn't expecting!