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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dyeing Wool Slivers

When dyeing wool slivers, it is recommended adjusting the dyeing techniques to prevent the wool from felting in the dye bath. I have dyed my wool for years straight into the dye bath and checked regularly to keep the temperature just below boiling point. Most of the time it worked but now and then I forgot and the wool got a bit felted in the dye pot.

As I dye all my wool with natural dyes, I need to bring it to the boil twice, once for mordanting and once for dyeing, so there is even more chance of felting.

So, I have adjusted my technique and can relax now why I am dyeing wool.

(I have taken off the lid of the dyepot, just for the image)

I use the french "au bain marie" way. My dyebath is filled up with the mordant or dye solution and the wool goes in there. I put this pot into a bigger one, filled with water. There needs to be a space in the bottom between the two pots, so that the dye pot has water around it at all sides. I bring the water to the boil and the dyebath will heat up, but not boil completely.

The wool comes out perfectly unharmed.

Energywise, it would be a lot better if the dyepot was lower than the heigth of the water pot, because than I could put a lid it. I am still looking around for the right sizes that suit me.

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