I have some Madelinetosh and some Jamieson and Smith Shetland, both lace weight, that I want to use to make a shawl. The Madelinetosh is a reddish burgundy colour and when I used it before, the colour came out and ruined a bedspread when I blocked it. I certainly don't want it to run into the grey Shetland wool. Is there something I can do to set the colour before washing it?


Crafty Andy's picture

Ron I will give you my opinion on what I would do. Reds and blues OH MY! There are two things that I will try .
1. I will put about a 1/2 of vinegar in some hot water, enough to cover the yarn and let it sit over nite no heat.
2. You can opt to soak the yarn in the same mixture , wrap it in plastic like at the retreats, then nuke it for 2 minutes in the microwave, let it rest for two minutes, repeat this procedure about 3 times.

3. You may also do the same thing but put your yarn in a double boiler and steam it in the plastic wrap for about 1 to 3 , giving each rotating the yarn every half hour.

The secret is to let the heat set the color and allow it to stay at a low temperature for a long time.

After all that I would do a small swatch and block it.

You may also use this Synthrapol is an industrial strength, pH neutral, liquid detergent used as a prewash and afterwash for dyed or painted fabrics and as a wetting agent for fabric dyes and paints. Synthrapol has the unique property of keeping loose dye suspended during washing, thus preventing backstaining while aiding in the removal of excess color.

If you have any questions or need clarification you can contact me directly.


ronhuber's picture

Thanks, Andy, for such a detailed answer. I will try a swatch and see what happens. Do I have to follow this process everytime it is washed or will this set the colour for life? Thanks again.

Crafty Andy's picture

Once you set the color you should not have any more bleeding. The Synthrapol is not a bad idea to repeat . I kind of learned the lesson with "Cotton", I had a variegated cotton yarn with some burgundy, white and blue, and it was a mess. There is not much you can do when cotton is bleeding dye!

ronhuber's picture

Thanks, I will keep that in mind.