Saturday, January 28, 2012

Solar Dyeing

I decided to give solar dyeing a go on the weekend. There were two reasons why.
1. I didn't want to risk felting my handspun (I sometimes don't watch very closely and my water starts to bubble), and
2. We are having a heatwave here - I may as well make the most of free heat!

So I started with rather unprepared wool - I quickly soaked it in some warm water. Then I added some hot tap water to my turquoise dye and citric acid (first time using citric instead of vinegar) and poured it into a strong freezer bag, then placed the wool in and tied it up. I placed it into a big saucepan, so that if the bag broke it would be contained.

Then out to the solar oven that my husband constructed ages ago and in it went. I put it in at about 3:30pm, so there was only a few hours of heat left for that day. Most of the dye had been absorbed by about 6pm but I figured I may as well leave it overnight and give it another day of heating.

At the end of day 2, the water was completely clear and when I took it out of the oven (must remember pot mitts next time) the water was at ~65C! Not bad! Again, I left it overnight, this time to cool down completely (that took a lot of patience let me tell you).

When I rinsed, there was no dye leak, and no vinegar smell :) I have read that turquoise dye can be a terrible one to get to stick, so I am very happy that mine didn't wash out.

All in all, I am very happy with the results, and while we have hot weather, I shall certainly be doing more solar dyeing, as it doesn't heat my house up, and uses free energy :) Win win I say!


1 comment:

Sally said...

What an awesome colour. It looks brilliant. Maybe you could bake some biscuits with the wool so that while you're waiting on the second day you have something to munch on!