Natural Dye

Buck Strong's picture

So, those of us at MFKR this year had the opportunity to a natural indigo dye with our yarn. I pulled mine out of the stash closet and it was really stiff. I seemed to remember the instructor telling us to give the yarn a wash when we got home. Well, I did just that and my beautiful, hand-spun merino is still stiff. Can anyone help me figure out how to get it back to something somewhat soft?

Thanks

Buck

Comments

MMario's picture

If it's a little stiff when

If it's a little stiff when you pull it out, have you tried whacking it?

Seriously - saw a discussion on a natural dye site that said they would take their skeins of yarn and whack them over a fence rail to soften the fibers up after drying.

Buck Strong's picture

Haven't done that one yet.

Haven't done that one yet. I'll give it a shot.

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring-it was peace.
~Milan Kundera
www.canzonestandardpoodles.com

Buck Strong's picture

Well, I tried all of the

Well, I tried all of the above and it's still pretty stiff. Maybe I'll try the conditioner again and see if a little more helps.

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring-it was peace.
~Milan Kundera
www.canzonestandardpoodles.com

kylewilliam's picture

if you put the dyed yarn in

if you put the dyed yarn in water and the dye is coming off the skein (as is sometimes the case in hand dyed stuff) you can add vinegar to set the color - (this also works on black tshirts, etc. if you'd like to keep the color longer) - a capful or a few teaspoons should work per skein...

If you'd like to wash the yarn but have no fiber wash, since it's merino it's animal hair... the best (and cheapest) way to wash it would be to use baby shampoo - just soak the yarn in water for a while to let it get really wet, then put a capful of baby shampoo in the water and gently press the yarn to get it sudsy... then you can leave it for a while if you like - rinse, fill with clean water and rinse until it's suds free - then squeeze the yarn to get rid of the water as much as possible (don't wring it!) and then roll it in a towel or a chamois cloth to get most of the rest of the water out. Hang it to dry...

hopefully that'll work - if it doesn't, you can probably call the place you went to do the dye workshop. I'm sure they'll know what to do. If you don't have the contact info in your MFKR binder, you could email Michael Wade...

good luck! :)

Kyle
www.kylewilliam.com

Masala's picture

That's a very good idea,

That's a very good idea, also, how do you dry this wool after washing? Do you use a dryer on delicate or must it be hung to dry?

Buck Strong's picture

I hang it dry. To sit with a

I hang it dry.

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring-it was peace.
~Milan Kundera
www.canzonestandardpoodles.com

Bill's picture

Maybe when it's completely

Maybe when it's completely dry you could put it in the dryer on delicate...and let it tumble and soften?

Caprifool's picture

Adding a few drops of

Adding a few drops of lanolin to the rince water could help.