Friday, June 25, 2010

Wool, wool and more wool

I have been dyeing fine merino wool and have been making tubular scarves and shibori dyed shawls and wraps. I am just discovering what the wool dyes can do. If I heat the pot too fast, the dye takes very quickly and unevenly. I really like the effects but some people might see this as a negative and call it 'tie dye' rather than 'shibori'. The wool retains a bit of shape from the resist method (shibori is 3D, rather than flat). I'm also trying to work out a good way to finish the edges of the shawls.
So far I have tried using the overlocker, attaching a binding as for quilting, adding an edging of organza and just leaving the edges to curl. I actually prefer the naturally curled edges but am worried that some potential buyers might think they aren't finished.

I have never really dyed wool before. I have played around with dyeing skeins of my own handspun wool when I lived in Australia but haven't used Acid dyes up to now, but they are terribly easy to use and only need household vinegar as an additive so are a bit safer than cotton dyes which use soda ash. They also 'exhaust' so washing at the end is easier as you don't have to rinse and rinse and rinse as for Fibre reactive dyes on cotton (Procion).

I will put some photos of the finished scarves on here when I find my camera.

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