Blue Woolies

No, no–not long underwear! It’s my next batch of dyed wool. I thought I’d try casserole dyeing—layers of fabric, with dye applied a bit differently to each layer.

Color of the day–blue. Started with this turquoise wool

Blue woolies 2

and these colors.

Blue woolies 1

Only used 4 “fat quarters” of the wool, which are larger than quilting fat quarters just because the wool is wider! Here’s the first layer in the pan. Hard to tell that there are 3 colors of blue dye on there, isn’t it? I started with a dry, cold pan and started the heating as I added the dye.

Blue woolies 3

I arranged the fabric on each of the layers a bit differently and added a bit of dye to each layer, dribbling it on in a random pattern. I let it all cook up a bit and then flipped the whole pile over to make sure all the fabric was heated through. Add the vinegar for the mordant, wash, dry, and this is what you get!

Blue woolies 4

Conclusions and suppositions–I got the shades of blue fabric that I wanted, though I  could have used a bigger variation and quite a bit lighter than it looked in the pan!  I’m also afraid that because the wool I have is a blend, it is not felting tightly enough to be free of fraying…or maybe it’s just these pieces. More experimenting is due there. I also don’t think the results are that much different than if I had just scrunched up the fabric and dumped in the dye. Maybe the next casserole dye attempt will have a bigger variation in colors. All in all, I got a nice batch of variegated blue woolies and I’m happy with that!

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4 thoughts on “Blue Woolies

  1. What is the wool blended with? The blend could be why it isn’t taking the color as much as you expect. If wool is heated up gradually, not moved around much in the pot and cooled off gradually, it shouldn’t felt much at all. You can dye unspun wool that way and it is fine to spin after it is dried.

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    • Jan, you are correct. It IS the blend that prevents colors from being as deep as they could be. I knew that going in. And I *want* it to be felted, as much as possible. Some fabric I’m felting first and then dyeing and this was not. So I learned the lesson that it works better if I felt first and not try to do both at the same time.

      On Tue, Nov 12, 2013 at 11:34 PM, Quirks Ltd.

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