How do I dye yarn

Dyeing wool yourself - instructions & methods

Are you passionate about knitting, but can't find a yarn with the desired shade or a creative color gradient? In this case it is advisable for you to dye your wool yourself and thereby obtain the desired or a similar color. Due to numerous dyeing methods with natural and synthetic means, you can dye your wool strands without any problems and only need precise instructions and the necessary materials.

Dyeing wool is not only an effective method to adapt woolen yarn or fabric to your own color ideas, but also to try out new things. For example if you want to see how a certain color affects your company Favorite yarn independent dyeing is ideal for this.

The main advantage here is the ability to use colors from plants in your own garden or even ingredients from the pantry. To the individual Methods To be able to try out, you will find detailed instructions here with which you can clearly understand the individual steps. Thereby


Material and preparation


Before you can start dyeing, you must first get the right wool. Since a lot can go wrong when dyeing wool, you should not use skeins, as these will shift during dyeing knot and therefore difficult to use. For this reason, you should rely on a strand of wool, because these are separated and thus do not knot. In addition to the shape of the winding, there are also different types of wool.

  • Sock or stocking wool
  • Merino wool
  • Virgin wool
  • Merino wool with synthetic components

If this is your first time ever using this type of coloring, you should be on Sock wool because this provides a similar intense color result as high-quality types of wool. Also offers Residual wool if you have any left over. Then you have an idea of ​​how the color will come out and what result you can expect when using high-quality types of wool.

Of course, you can use woolen yarn without any problems clothes made of wool for dyeing, but it is not easy to determine the color gradients. This is particularly noticeable with wool that has already been dyed. Therefore, ideally, put on undyed wool yarn or variants in light shades. You can't go wrong with that.

Tip: If you have a mottled wool in mind as a result, you should choose a smaller proportion of animal fibers and rely on a higher proportion of cotton. Since cotton fibers are difficult to dye yourself, the result is a mottled effect that can be used in a wide variety of projects.

Dyeing wool

Dyeing wool yourself is quite easy if you are familiar with the respective methods. These inspire with their problem-free implementation and numerous creative possibilities, appealing color gradients and intense tones. The results depend on a large number of points such as the color used and the method. With some variants, the color tones come into their own, while others are much paler, but with a pleasant gradient or pattern. Below are three different methods you can use to create your Dyeing wool can. Live it out as creatively as possible.

Tip: If you decide to use textile dyes, simply follow the manufacturer's instructions. These colors are very intense and can be used without any problems, which makes the application uncomplicated.

With food coloring | manual

A classic is the independent dyeing of wool using food or Easter egg colors.

These have Dyesthat are strongly absorbed by the wool fibers and thus have a good effect. Before you can apply these colors, you need to stain the wool before dyeing it.

This is done with a vinegar stain:

  • Mix 1 liter of water and 250 ml of vinegar in a container

  • Align final amount of stain to amount of wool
  • Container should have a lid
  • now place the wool strand in the stain
  • should be completely covered with the stain
  • Close the container with the lid

  • Let the stain take effect for a few hours
  • Do not rinse after pickling, just squeeze out
  • never wring, otherwise there is a risk of knotting

After you have stained, you can now use the colors. Pull yourself up for it Gloves because the products can be seen on the skin for a long time.

The instructions follow:

Step 1: Mix 400 ml of water with 10 ml of food coloring. Each color should be mixed in a separate bowl if you want to use different tones.

Don't forget a small splash of vinegar per bowl.

On average, you need 40 ml of food coloring for 100 g of wool for a brightly colored result.

2nd step: After mixing the colors, the strands of wool are placed in the bowls. These must be completely covered.

The exposure time is only ten to 20 minutes. If you want to create color gradients, distribute a strand over several bowls by conveying it over the respective bowl edge into the next bowl. Over time you rotate so that all areas are really colored. Further color sample variations are also possible here.

3rd step: After it has taken effect, excess paint and water are pressed out of the strand into the shell from top to bottom.

Then prepare an oven tray with aluminum foil and place it in the oven for one hour at 90 ° C.

4th step: Finally, you just have to take the wool out of the oven (be careful!), Let it cool down and rinse it lukewarm. Then hang it up and let it dry.

This is what your staining result will look like afterwards.

Self-made natural colors | manual

You don't have to rely on food or textile dyes, you can use plants, vegetables and berries to dye the wool. Since many plants develop intense colors, these are ideal for coloring.

The following list gives you an overview of possible colors:

  • Onion peels: yellowish brown
  • Tea (black): light brown
  • Red cabbage: reddish purple to blue
  • Pomegranate peels: yellow
  • Kernels and skin of avocados: Salmon colored
  • Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea): yellow
  • Real chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla): yellow
  • Marigolds (Calendula): yellow
  • Corn poppy (Papaver rhoeas): purple red
  • black-red varieties of common hollyhock (Alcea rosea): Blue with gray tones to black
  • Elderberries, blueberries: Blue to purple
  • Elderberry bark: black
  • Walnut shells (unripe): brown
  • Blackberries: bright purple
  • Blackberry leaves: brownish green
  • Oregon grape berries: Pink to light purple
  • Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare): yellow
  • Sage (Salvia officinalis): light brown
  • Woodruff (Galium odoratum): pink

As you can see, you have a really wide range of shades available. Here, too, a pretreatment is used Vinegar stainthat you do in the same way as described above. Otherwise you only need a large amount of the desired plant material, preferably in a ratio of 1: 1 with the wool strand, a laundry bag and a pot.

  • Rinse wool well after pickling
  • In the saucepan, bring the plant material to the boil with water
  • strain the plant material through a sieve
  • fill this into the laundry bag
  • now let the solution cool down a bit
  • then put the wool in the dye solution together with the laundry bag
  • you can already divide the strands here
  • Now heat everything together for at least an hour
  • Let it work longer at your discretion
  • second dyeing courses are possible, only significantly weaker in the intensity of the shade
  • Carefully remove the wool from the pot after cooking

Solar dye | manual

Solar dyeing is one of the slowest and most gentlest methodsto dye wool yourself without relying on chemicals or strenuous processes. However, there is a small disadvantage to solar dyeing: You cannot really influence the direct result when dyeing, since the garments or the yarn are not separated like with the other dyeing methods, but are completely added to the colors.

You will need the following materials to dye the wool yourself:

  • Mason jar (size depends on the amount of wool)
  • Natural dye (choose from the list above)
  • water

You don't need more for this method, because solar dyeing is a variant of cold dyeing that only uses the power of Sun and used light. The wool is only slightly heated, which also depends on the available solar radiation. For this reason, the results are not as intense as with other staining variants.