dyeing woolies? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Thread Tools
#1 of 4 Old 04-22-2011, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
frogautumn's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,356
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I'm thinking of dyeing my little one's woolies...they still have a lot of wear in them, but they're just covered in stains that won't come out. Baby + white anything = never a good idea. Any recommendations for good dyes?

frogautumn is offline  
Sponsored Links
#2 of 4 Old 04-22-2011, 11:18 AM
SageR's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 984
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Dyeing wool (and silk) is really easy.  You don't need to use proper fabric dye at all.  I have used plain old food coloring, kool aid, and Wilton cake decorating gel. Or you can use beets for red, red cabbage for blue, and turmeric for yellow.


Before you start wash your wool and really rub some soap into the stained parts and let it soak.  After you've rinsed it out transfer it to some lukewarm water with white vinegar in it. Let it soak in there for at least half an hour.


Put your color choice in a pot with some water and more vinegar.  I like to add just a little of the color to start and add more if the color is not deep/dark enough. Make sure, especially if you use the gel, that it is really well mixed.  Place your wool in the pot and very slowly bring close to a boil.  Then turn the heat off and let it sit.  Once the water is room temp take out your wool and wash it in room temp water.


These don't seem to be perfectly colorfast but it's cheap and easy and about as non toxic/natural as you're going to get.  If you google kool aid dyeing or something like that you will probably find more thorough directions than mine.  Have fun!

treehugger.gif homemaker mama to jumpers.gif and stork-boy.gif due in March


SageR is offline  
#3 of 4 Old 04-25-2011, 05:54 AM
knittygritty's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Indiana
Posts: 136
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)

 Hi! Mind if I ring in? Dyeing wool is so enjoyable and the results are always gorgeous--wool just soaks up vibrant color! I am a natural dyer, so I have a little different input than SageR.


 There are so many ingredients readily available at your supermarket to make beautiful dyes--turmeric and saffron for yellow, coffee and tea for browns, red cabbage for fuschia and teal, beets for pink, spinach for sage, red onion skins for olive green...the list goes on. A little searching on google for natural dyestuffs will give you more ideas! You can also purchase dye extracts at a reasonable price online. I like the EarthHues company. These are powdered dyes that  you add to a boiling pot of water--easier than extracting dye from the grocery items, but a little more expensive.


 For the dyeing process, start by giving the woolies a good wash to get out any residues from stains. Then get a pot of water boiling on the stove (big enough that the woolies can fit with room to move about). To this you add a few tea spoons of Alum (the safest natural mordant, found in the spice aisle at the grocery store...people use it for canning). Vinegar is not actually a mordant (a substance that imparts a chemical bond between dye molecules and fibers) which is why it is not very colorfast. Let the woolies soak in this pot for at least an hour, stirring them about every now and then. Be careful that the water is just barely simmering and not boiling--we don't want the wool to felt!


 Finally, prepare the dye baths and transfer the wet woolies to the pots of dye. The longer they sit, the darker they will become! It only takes a few minutes to get luscious, rich color. Then rinse the woolies to get out the excess dye.


 Whew--long post! Can't tell I love dyeing or anything, can you? winky.gif I'm happy to answer any other questions you may have! Happy dyeing!

knittygritty is online now  
#4 of 4 Old 04-26-2011, 06:20 AM
monkeyma's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 60
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I had this same question! Thanks for asking.

monkeyma is offline  

Quick Reply
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off