dyeing my own felt
I use a lot of felt, and I really, really prefer it to be wool or wool blend. This presents two problems for me. 1) Although it comes in amazing colors, it can be expensive and I have to order it special. 2) Locally, I can find it at a much better price, but in very limited colors. What to do?
It was time to try and dye my own.
Drink mix dying works best with natural fibers, and wouldn't you know? Wool is a natural fiber! And, I can buy white wool blend at Joann Fabric and Craft for $8.99 per yard. With a 40% off coupon, I'm quite content with the price!
The first batch I tried, I decided to just wing it, and I ended up with dyed hands and coloring that wasn't rinsing clear. Then I did a quick search (why didn't I do this first?), and found an excellent set of instructions for dyeing yarn. After another round, I knew that I would be doing this a lot more often!
I was working with small-ish pieces of felt...about 1/4 yard. For that, I mixed about 2 cups of water with one packet of drink mix. You want enough liquid to fully cover your felt when you're dyeing it. More drink mix will add more color.
Place the felt into a microwavable dish, and pour the liquid over it. A larger dish might have been better, but this one was handy...
Microwave on high for about two minutes. At this point, the liquid in the dish should be pretty much clear when you lift the felt out a bit. If not, microwave for another minute.
Let the dish cool down a bit so that the wet wool isn't too hot. When it's cooled down, run it under water to rinse any extra dye out, although, there shouldn't be too much color coming out at this point.
Gently squeeze the extra water out, and you'll have some very wet felt.
Here are the other colors I made while they were still wet. The pink one was done with two packets of fruit punch mix, and I like the little bit deeper color. This is also the one that messed up to start with.
I popped each of these onto a hanger to dry out, and here's what I have now:
The color isn't completely even, which I assume comes from the way the pieces were folded in the dish when I was dyeing them. But I'm actually really happy with that...it's got a mottled look that I love!
With a quick iron, they're are all set for my next felt project, which I have planned, but not quite started. In the meantime, I think I need to head to the store for some more colors of drink mix!
By Mollie Johanson at Monday, February 27, 2012