Thought I would brighten up
your winter day with some color. Lets talk about...
I start by boiling the water either in a stock pot or a regular large pot depending on how much I am planning on dying. As the water is warming up I soak the fiber I will be dying in luke warm water and vinegar for my mordant. This will help the fiber take the color better.
For my dyes I use Kool-aide or food coloring in order to keep our home chemical free. And safe with little kids in the house and they can even help mix up the colors.
I add the kool-aide or food coloring to the jar before adding the hot water. Depending on what color results I am looking for, the amounts used will vary. When I dyed one ounce batts I used 2 packets of kool-aide per batt to obtain more vibrant colors. During my more organized dying dyes I take notes in a journal of what I used and a sample of the results. ( I will share more on that another time)
Next I carefully pour water into the jars (usually about half full) Than I gently squeeze out the fiber that has been soaking and submerge it into the jar using a large kitchen spoon.. Making sure to be gentle with the fiber so it doesn't cause felting.
I leave the fiber to soak for several hours (about 3-4 ) and than check to see how the color is taking. If the water is clear when you gently move the fiber in the jar it has taken all the color available. Some color mixtures need longer and I leave it to sit over night. If the color isn't as vibrant as I would like I just dye it again.
Once I am satisfied with my color results I gently pour the water from the jar including the fiber into a strainer. Than I gently rinse the fiber with luke warm water to make sure to get all the excess dye out. I continue this until the water runs clear. Making sure to be gentle and not agitate the fiber - I really don't want any fiber felting.
Once the fiber is completely rinsed than it is ready to dry. I use both our stacking cooling racks as well as an old screen window. The Screen works the best it holds more fiber and has more air flow drying the fiber faster. I just prop it up on the backs of too chairs in front of our big dinning room window so the sun can help speed up the drying time too.