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 Dyeing Discussion
 Dyeing Basics
 Dyeing 50%cotton-50%wool yarn
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knitree
Seriously Hooked

688 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2006 :  7:12:52 PM  Show Profile Send knitree a Private Message
Help! I made a sweater for my DH a number of years ago with Brown Sheep Cotton Top DK -- 50% cotton, 50% wool, in bright red (his choice). He has rarely worn it, due to the color. I'd like to take it deeper/darker - red, blackish, brown, whatever, but am unsure what kind of dye to use with this fiber blend. I have plenty to knit swatches and test dye, btw. All suggestions welcome! Thanks.

KS
Seriously Hooked

862 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2006 :  7:57:48 PM  Show Profile Send KS a Private Message
That yarn blend requires a different dye type for each fiber.

Depending on how the yarn is spun, maybe you could dye it with one type & let the other fiber stay red.

I think if you want to dye both fibers you're going to have to dye it twice. Once for the wool & once for the cotton. I think I'd use fiber reactive dyes because you can use it with salt & soda ash to dye the cotton & then with salt & vinegar to dye the wool. The same dye formula will give you a slightly different color on the different fiber. That's where those samples come in!

Wool doesn't do well in an alkaline environment, so I'd test that to be sure the wool isn't damaged by the soda ash. I think I'd do the cotton part first.

When you use fiber reactive dyes with vinegar on protein fibers, you have to heat it. You're using it as an acid dye.

KS
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Momma78239
Permanent Resident

USA
4859 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2006 :  8:24:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit Momma78239's Homepage  Send Momma78239 a Yahoo! Message Send Momma78239 a Private Message
What you need (if you don't want a tweedy two-color effect) is a union dye. It has elements that dye cotton and elements that dye wool. Rit is one example. I don't know if there's one that's more colorfast than Rit.

You could also try a two process dyeing. Do fiber-reactive to dye the cotton, then do acid for the wool. I'd be very careful to avoid leaving it in the dye solution for too long with either process.

Another possibility is a deep tea dyeing. Tea will dye cotton and wool. Simmer a bit in STRONG tea and see if that deepens the color.

Or try an acid dye in a deep brown or deep green to over dye the wool and leave the cotton red. It'll look marled and tweedy and much darker.

-WendyM[IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v632/Momma78239/smallspindlepic.gif[/IMG]
And all the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen. Exodus 35:25
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knitree
Seriously Hooked

688 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2006 :  8:31:16 PM  Show Profile Send knitree a Private Message
Thanks for the detailed responses. I had joked with a friend about throwing it in a vat of Rit. And I love the idea of the tea. Think I'll knit a couple swatches and do a little experimenting.
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