Saturday, July 24, 2010

Dyeing With Icing Dyes: Flat Felt

 

 

 

 


I needed some pieces of flat felt for a future project...

and had been reading about dyeing wool with non-toxic food dyes.

I've dyed projects with Kool-Aid in the past...

...but could only ever find it in a few colors. :(

When I read that people were using icing dyes for this, too...

...I just had to buy some and try it!

I made a large piece of flat felt with two layers of white wool roving...

...then added novelty yarn and bits of colored silk to the surface of the felt.

I 'veiled' these additions with a thin layer of wool...

...to help trap them into the piece during felting.

After I finished the felt, but before drying it...

...I cut it in half and made a dye bath for each piece.

I used teal (mixed in boiling water) for one half...

...and copper (made the same way) for the other.

It only takes a small amount to make a very vibrant dye bath...

...and I probably could have gotten away with using a bit less.

(These are really intense!)

I'd like to try mixing colors next time, too...

...and with 12 different colors per box, it should be easy to get exactly the shade I want.

I allowed the felt to sit in the dye for 30 minutes or so...

...then re-heated each bowl in the microwave and stirred in a few teaspoons of white vinegar.

When the color was mostly discharged into the felt...

...and the remaining water was left nearly clear...

...I removed the felt, rinsed it, and hung it to dry.

If any of you have done shibori or tye-dying on finished felt projects using icing dyes...

...I'd love to hear how you did it! (Plastic condiment bottles?)





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10 comments:

Trudis Felt said...

Nice to read how you did it, the colors are very nice. I only have dyed with natural products such as henna, unions....

Kelly said...

This is how I dye all of my natural fibers. I love the colors that I can get from them. The only color I have problems getting is a true red. :) I like the fact that I don't need special pots to use for dyeing. I have never tried already felted pieces. Usually I dye my roving and then make something from that. Love to see what everyone else is up to, thanks for sharing! :)

Deb at Merciful Hearts Farm said...

When I work with children we KA dye - check your local Hispanic grocery to see if they have the KA flavors like tamarind. Much more interesting & "adult" colors than plain ol' KA.

Heather said...

Trudis--Henna is next on my 'want to try' list. Do you use the powder and mix it with water?

Kelly--How do you keep the roving from felting during dyeing? Also, do you find that the color washes out while felting if you dye it first? (It did so for me with Kool-Aid.)

Deb--What a great idea about the less common flavors of KA! I'll have to look around!~

Thanks, all, for your great comments!!

Kelly said...

I lay out the roving(so far, I have only tried merino) onto plastic wrap- in a "w" type pattern and use a turkey baster to squirt the mixture onto the roving(the mixture I use is 1 cup water, 1 cup white vinegar, and about 2 tsp. of dye.)I then wrap carefully so the dye does not go everywhere and then put it in a shallow glass baking dish.I nuke it for approx. 1 min. and 30 sec. Take it out and let set for a few minutes- it's super hot so be careful. Remember the less you manipulate it right now the less chance you have of it felting on you. I place the wrapped roving in the sink and open while rinsing with lukewarm water. Don't agitate it. I squeeze gently. It will lose some color with rinsing, but most of your rinsing will be clear and that will tell you the wool has taken the color. Reds are hard and some oranges will rinse to a orange creamsicle color. The first time I dyed, it was fun to just play, and really cool when it worked out!

Kelly said...

oops I also forgot to add that I soak my undyed wool in a vinegar/water bath for about 15 minutes or so before dyeing. I fill the sink up and add about 1/2 white vinegar. Once it has soaked I squeeze the extra water out and then start the dyeing process.

Dot said...

These are just gorgeous! I am doing a dyeing class this weekend and can't wait to have a play.

Heather said...

Kelly--Thanks for all of the really helpful tips!! I'd love to try this, since I was a bit put off using acid dye when I saw how much 'protective equip. and gear' you need while dyeing with it.

Dot--I'll look forward to seeing what comes out of your class! It sounds like a lot of fun.

Vilt à la Kim said...

wow great colors!! I really need to start play with dyeing too:)

Crafty Critter said...

That looks like so much fun and it is nice to see something safe and not so "chemically".