Ewesful Information

Home
Order Form
Rock Day Spinners
Farm Yarns
Books
Buttons
Doo-Dads
Dyes
Ewesful Information
Felting
Fiber
Jewelry
Knitting
Weaving
Tree & Ground Works
Knitwear
Rug Hooking
Spinning
Soap
Sale & Used

Information on how to do the following:  washing grease fleece, washing skeins of yarn & knitwear, wool dying, solar dying, natural dyes & mordants, koolaid dying,
using Cushing's acid & direct dyes.

 

bullet

WASHINGS SKEINS OF YARNS

bullet

WASHING GREASE FLEECE

bullet

USING CUSHING'S ACID DYES

bullet

SOLAR DYEING

bullet

Kathy's Oven Dyed Yarn or Roving

bullet

KOOLAID DYEING FOR NATURAL FIBERS

bullet

  Natural Dyes  & MORDANT'S

bullet

 USING CUSHING'S DIRECT DYES for flax, linen, cotton & basketry

WASHING SKEINS OF YARNS

We recommend washing skeins before use to:

bullet

remove any excess dye

bullet

remove carding and spinning oil

bullet

give a softer hand [feel] to yarn

bullet

give a more accurate stitch gauge

SIMPLE WASHING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Fill washer or dishpan with cool water and a squirt of dish soap. Shut washer off!

  2. Tie skeins in four places loosely. Skeins usually come with 1-2 ties already in place. Put yarn back into a skein.

  3. Place open skeins in water and soak for a half-hour.

  4. Set machine to final spin [gentle] and turn on machine. This will spin out excess water and greatly reduce drying time.

  5. Repeat process to rinse out soap.  Be sure to remove skeins before filling washer. Skip the rinse if using a no-rinse wool wash soap.

  6. If washing in a dishpan, skeins will contain more water when removed.   Squeeze out water gently after removing from the water.

  7. Remove skeins and hang to dry.

NOTES:

bullet

Never  agitate wool or let water run directly on wool. Do not shock the wool with drastic temperature changes.

bullet

If you use a wool washing soap such as Meadows Wool Wash or Euculan, you do not need to rinse the soap out.

bullet

The above directions can be used to wash wool garments also. If there are light and dark colors in the garment, be sure to wash in cool water to avoid colors bleeding. If garment very soiled, use warm water.

WASHING GREASE FLEECE

bulletFill washer with water as hot as your hands can tolerate. Add 2 cups of inexpensive laundry soap that does not contain bleach. Be sure soap is dissolved before adding wool. Shut off machine!
bulletAdd 1 1/2-2 lbs. of grease fleece. Let soak 1 hour.
bulletAdvance setting to final spin cycle and turn machine on. Allow to spin out excess water.
bulletRemove fleece. Fill machine with same temperature water. Add 1 cup of soap and return fleece to washer. Be sure machine is off!
bulletAllow to soak for one hour. Spin out as before. If fleece needs another washing, repeat procedure.
bulletIf fleece will be dyed later, a rinse is not necessary.
bulletTo give the fleece a final rinse, repeat washing instructions but omit the soap.
bulletPut fleece on a sweater rack to dry or hang in mesh bags inside or outside in the summer.

 

 

USING CUSHING'S ACID DYES

General Directions

1. The fiber to be dyed should be pre-washed in a mild detergent such as dishwashing liquid. Wool should soak at least 20 minutes.

2.  A dye solution is prepared by measuring the dry powder and dissolving it in boiling water. One
3.
Prepare the dye bath in a pot by putting in enough water to cover fiber. Use an enamel or stainless steel pot. Add the dye solution and stir well. Add the wet fiber to the dye pot. Heat to a high simmer but never boil (at least 165 F). Use a candy thermometer to monitor temperature.

4.
Simmer wool 30 minutes after the temperature reaches 165-175 degrees. Shut off stove and allow the wool to cool. Rinse wool in water of the same temperature.

5. Next, carefully lift wool out of pot and into another pot or sink. Wool may be rinsed in the sink or washer. To use washer, fill with water the same temperature as the wool. Add the wool and soak for about 15 minutes. Be sure the washer is OFF! Now, advance washer cycle to final spin cycle and spin out water.

6. Dry wool on a sweater rack or hang in a mesh bag.

MATERIALS LIST

bulletDye Pots (one to dye with & one for water/wool transfer if needed)
bullet Jar to dissolve dye in
bullet Large spoon to lift wool with
bullet Glass or stirring rod to stir dye with
bullet Fiber or Yarn
bullet Dye
bullet Rubber gloves & apron (wear old clothes)
bullet Face dust mask
bullet Dish soap
bullet Candy thermometer


SOLAR DYEING

Easy to do with your choice of dyes.

Materials:

bulletLarge glass jars with tops.  Ask a local restaurant for their throw-aways!
bulletDye Material Cushings, Koolaid, Natural or whatever.
bulletWhite Vinegar
bulletMeasuring Cup
bulletYarn, fleece or roving to dye.  Will only work with animal fibers.
bulletBoiling water
bulletPlastic bags
bulletOven Mitts
bulletOld clothes, rubber gloves, face mask, safety glasses as usual.
  1. Get all your equipment together.
  2. Pre-soak any wool yarn, fiber or roving to be dyed.
  3. Dilute the dye [powder] or, if using natural dyes, prepare the extract.
  4. Fill the jar 1/3 with boiling water and 1/2 cup vinegar.
  5. Dye liquid may be added at this point or poured over the top of the fiber for a graduated color.
  6. Put fiber/ yarn in the jar.  Pack firmly.  If you wish to create "resist" areas on yarn or roving, wrap area with plastic.   Flagging tape or cut up plastic bags will work.  * a RESIST AREA is where the dye can't get to.  It will remain the original color.
  7. Pour dye over top and fill to top with boiling water.
  8. Place lid on.
  9. Using your oven mitts, put jars outside in a location where the sun will shine on it most of the day.
  10. At the end of the day, your fiber is ready.
  11. Rinse in same temperature water and hang to dry.
    If you use koolaid dyes, the water will be clear when the dye has been absorbed into the wool.

KOOLAID DYEING FOR NATURAL FIBERS

Materials:

bulletEnamel, glass or stainless steel pot or glass jars if doing solar dyeing [see above]
bulletSugar Free Koolaid [ don't use sweetened, cost more!] 4-6 pkgs to 4 oz. wool
bulletBoiling Water
bulletMeasuring Cup
bulletFiber/yarn/roving to be dyed
bulletWhite Vinegar
bulletOld clothes, rubber gloves, face mask, safety glasses etc.

NOTES:  Most colors will require 6 packages of Koolaid to 4 oz. of fiber.  Dark colors may only take 4 or 5.  This is not an exact formula!  You may ad resist areas to the fiber by wrapping the area tightly in plastic or with rubber bands.

PROCEDURE:

  1. Pre-soak fiber in very warm/ almost hot water for at least 20 minutes before dyeing. You can add a small squirt of dish soap also.  This will act as a dispersant for the dye and help it adhere to the fiber better.
  2. Fill your dye pot with very warm water.
  3. Dilute the koolaid in a measuring cup with boiling hot water. Add to the dye bath.
  4. Add 1 cup of white vinegar to the dye bath.  Stir well.
  5. Add your yarn/fiber/ roving to the pot.
  6. Now, raise the dye bath temperature to 165-180F degrees.   Check temperature with a glass candy thermometer.  You can tie a string to the end and tie the other end to the pot handle.  Now, just leave the thermometer on top of the yarn or fiber.  Be sure you don't boil the wool!
  7. When the temperature reaches 160-180F, continue to simmer for 30 minutes. Check temperature. Stir occasionally to get a more even color.  If you want an uneven color [lighter at the top/darker at the bottom], then don't stir the pot. Do not agitate the wool too much or it will felt. 
  8. When heating cycle is finished, turn off the pot.  Let sit until cool, or at least cool enough to take yarn out.
  9. Now, fiber needs to be rinsed in water that is the same temperature as the fiber to prevent felting.  I use my washing machine.  You may want to use a utility sink, tub or another pot.  I fill the washer with water, SHUT OFF THE MACHINE, then add the fiber and let soak 10 minutes.  Now, advance machine to the final spin cycle, and spin out water. This will get rid of excess dye.  Hang to dry.

Natural Dyes

Alkanet Root Alkanna Tinctoria Gives colors from bluish gray to soft burgundy.
Annato Seed Bixa Orellana Gives an orange. Good dye for cotton.
Brazilwood Dust Caesalpania Echinata Gives reds.  Before using the dust, expose it to the air and sprinkle with water & alcohol.
Cochineal Dactylopius Coccus This little bug will give the most color when ground into a fine powder. Gives dark burgundy to bright red, soft lilac and pink colors.
Cutch Extract Acacia Catechu Very easy to use. It remains fast even on cottons & silks.   It is good for combinations and produces brown tones if used by itself.
Natural Indigo

Indigo Tinctoria

Comes in hard chunks or blocks. Does not disolve in water. Use a recepie and reducing agent. Blue colors from dark to light. More complex to use.
Natural Indigo Solution

Saxony Blue

Very easy to use. Produces a bright blue. All of the dye will be absorbed into the fiber. Not a good dye for cotton or other vegetable fibers.
Logwood Concentrate

Hematoxylon
Campechianum

Colors from magenta's, browns, purples and pink. Must use a mordant. Concentrated powder gives more bluish colors. Dyes cotton well.
Madderroot

Rubia
Tinctorum

Is available as a root or as dust. Colors range from red to red-brown and oranges. Dyes cotton well.
Osage Orange Dust

Maclura
Pomifer

Also available in 2 colors: bright yellow & gold.
Red Sandalwood

Pterocarpus

Great for blending. Produces nice browns, good shades for doll hair.

MORDANTS [chemicals used to augment natural dyes]
   
     * WOF is weight of fiber

Alum

Aluminum Potassium
Sulfate

Most widely used mordant. Do not use more than 10% [WOF/weight of fiber] on animal fibers and 20% on cottons.
Copper

Copper
Sulfate

Used to bring out the greens in dyes. Often used as an after [post] mordant. No more than 2% WOF used.
Chrome

Potassium
Dichromate

Extremely Toxic. Do not inhale. Be sure to wear gloves & mask when using. No more than 3% WOF used. Dispose of as chemical waste. Recommend not  using.
Iron

Ferrous Sulfate

Dulls colors. No more than 2% weight of fiber used.
Glauber Salt

Sodium
Sulfate

Used to level out the bath color. Used as a component of chemical dyes also.
Spectralite

Thiourea
Dioxide

Used as a reducing agent for indigo. Used as a substitute for hydrosulfate or Hydrosulfuric acid. Spectralite is 6 times stronger than hydrosulfate.
Tara Powder

Caesalpinia
Spinosa

Is a natural tannin product. It is needed for darker colors when dyeing cotton, linen & hemp.
Tartaric Acid   Needed for cochineal. Will expand the cochineal color range.
Tin

Stannous
 Chloride

A pinch or exactly 1/2% or 1/2% of tin will give extra bright colors on protein fibers.
Calcium Carbonate   Used with indigo powder for the saxony blue color. Can also be used to lower the dye bath acidity.

 

 Using Cushing's Direct Dyes for cotton, linen, reeds

bullet

Accurately weigh fiber to be dyes. Thoroughly wet fiber with hot water.

bullet

Prepare dye bath. Fill pot with enough lukewarm water to cover material to be dyed. Add *dissolved dye. Dissolve then add common table salt to dye bath. Use 4 ounces of salt to one pound of material.

bullet

Stir material in dye bath quite often. When dyeing reeds, turn over occasionally.

bullet

Raise the dye bath temperature to a high simmer [180-190 F]. Continue to simmer for 20-30 minutes.

bullet

Remove from heat and let cool for 20 minutes.

bullet

Rinse material until clear of excess dye. The final rinse should contain a small amount of common table salt and white vinegar to help set the dye.

bullet

CAUTION: Do not use iron or galvanized containers for any dyeing!

* Dissolve dye in boiling water, not hot tap water.

Kathy's Oven Dyed Yarn or Roving

Materials:

bullet

Washed yarn or roving to be dyed

bullet

Non-aluminum cookie sheets with edges to hold fluid spills.

bullet

Cookie racks, one for the bottom of each cookie sheet

bullet

Plastic wrap or oven roasting bags

bullet

Glass measuring cup [2 cup or larger]

bullet

Stirring rod [wood dowel, glass drink mixing stick, straw etc!]. Used to mix the dissolving dye.

bullet

White vinegar

bullet

Rubber gloves and a disposable face mask if working in a closed area.

bullet

Wear old clothes!

bullet

Large plastic bucket is useful for soaking or transporting wool.

bullet

Dish soap

bullet

Measuring spoons

bullet

Dye to use. Country Classic Dye, Gaywool or Bush Blends, Cushing's Acid Dye all work well.

bullet

Squirt bottles or containers wit lids to hold the dissolved dye during application.

bullet

Oven

bullet

Record book to document your projects!

 

Dye Procedure:

bullet

Thoroughly wet yarn or roving before dying. Fiber must be washed and not "in the grease." Soak at least 1 hour in very warm water. The longer the soaking, the better! Add a squirt of dish soap to the water.

bullet

In a Pyrex type glass container, dissolve dye using boiling water.

bullet

Depending on the amount of fiber to be dyed, start with 3 tsp. of dry dye to 1.5 cups of water. If using Cushing's acid dye, use 1/3 of the package amount. Add 2 tbsp. of white vinegar. Note: these amounts are very flexible and forgiving so experiment and have fun! Use more dye for darker shades.

bullet

Prepare the cookie sheets by placing the racks in them.

bullet

Take your fiber out of the water and squeeze out well. If the wool contains too much water, you will end up with brown mud on the bottom of you fiber.

bullet

Place Yarn or roving on the cookie sheets.

bullet

Now the fun part. Squeeze the dye onto the fiber where you want it! You can completely cover every inch or leave un-dyed areas between colors. Be sure to turn over the fiber to cover both sides. Do not add so much dye that it runs into the cookie sheet. Squeeze the fiber as you go to work it in a little.

bullet

Cover the fiber with plastic wrap. I usually attach the wrap to the underside of the  racks. Seal it closed. An alternate method would be to place the fiber on the plastic wrap, color, then cover with plastic wrap and place to the racks.

bullet

Place cookie sheets in pre-heated oven at lowest setting or about 180-200 degrees F.

bullet

If in doubt of oven temperature, check with oven thermometer.

bullet

Cook for 30 minutes. Shut off over and allow fiber to cool.

bullet

Rinse fiber with same temperature water as the wool is. I use my washer. Just fill with water, shut off washer. Soak for about 15 minutes. Now, turn washer to spin cycle, and spin out the water. The goods will dry much more quickly. Hang to dry.

bullet

Don't forget to record your dye session for future reference!

 

 

05/02/2016