Dyeing Sunshine

When I ordered fiber for spinning at World of Wool the other day, I ordered enough of the white Tussah/BFL to make almost 2 sweaters, if I wanted. I just wanted to take advantage of the postage, which was a fixed amount regardless of ordering 100g or 1kg, so I ordered 800g of the fiber I wanted and a little something else, just for fun.

When it arrived, I very soon got the idea of making a dyeing experiment. I mean, I had enough fiber for that, right?
As Nanna, one of my good knitting friends, had dyed a shawl with Turmeric some months ago, I decided I wanted to try that as well. So I did!

What I used:

  • about 150g turmeric
  • a large pot of water
  • 1 L vinegar
  • about 100g of 30/70 Tussah/BFL fiber

I got the water to a boil, added the turmeric, and then the fiber. Then I let it boil calmly for about 30 minutes, after which I rinsed the fiber a bit with some hot water and then added it to a container with water in which I had mixed the 1 L of vinegar. I think the fiber was resting there for about half an hour, maybe more – then I rinsed it a lot, but didn’t manage to get all excess turmeric out before I gave up and hung it to dry. While drying, the fiber still had bits of turmeric in it, and I guess those will stay for a while :o)

Result: Sunshine!
It has the brightest yellow color, which I love, despite of yellow not really being my favorite. It’s kinda Easter-ish, don’t you think?

The fiber felted just a tiny bit, which luckily doesn’t really matter in this case. I was afraid it would become one big felted clod, as there was quite a bit of temperature change and movement (squeezing the excess water out after each rinsing etc.). I know that when I spin with it, there will be turmeric everywhere, so I have to find a solution to that. Also, when washing it after spinning, there will be a lot of excess color – but I am prepared, so it won’t matter :o)

I have been thinking about it – perhaps the next time it is a good idea to put the turmeric (or any other ground color giver) in a fine fabric bag? Just so that it does give off color, but doesn’t mix up with all of the fiber. I’ll have to try, and investigate, I guess.

I am definitely going to try out more natural ingredients for dyeing yarn. When I was in London in September last year, I bought this book about dyeing with natural ingredients: The complete guide to natural dyeing. I didn’t use the book for this experiment, as this was the method that inspired me to buy the book in the first place. But I am definitely going to try out some of the recipes given!