How to Dye Wool Fabric

Written by brittney horwitz
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How to Dye Wool Fabric
Dye your wool fabric a different colour. (wool texture image by PaulPaladin from Fotolia.com)

If you have ever tried tie-dyeing a cotton T-shirt, you know that all you have to do is dunk your shirt into a bucketful of colourful water. Wool is much more sensitive than cotton and, therefore, requires more effort and care when attempting to dye it. Every step of the process should be followed exactly so that you do not ruin your fabric while trying to enhance it.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Fibre reactive dye
  • Glass measuring cup
  • Wool fabric
  • Plastic spoon
  • Stainless steel pot
  • 9 tbsp salt
  • Mixing bowl
  • 2/3 cup white vinegar
  • Synthrapol detergent

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place a few tablespoons of dye into the measuring cup and add a little bit of cold water. The more dye you add, the darker the colour will be so add just 1 tbsp for a light colour and up to 5 tbsp for a very dark shade.

  2. 2

    Mix the dye and water to create a thick paste.

  3. 3

    Add 1 cup of water heated to 60 degrees Celsius to the paste and mix well to dissolve all of the dye.

  4. 4

    Pour the dye mixture into the stainless steel pot and place on the hob.

  5. 5

    Dissolve salt in 2 cups of warm water in a separate bowl.

  6. 6

    Add the salt mixture to the dye mixture and place the wool fabric inside.

  7. 7

    Cover the fabric with water and turn on the flame until the water has reached a low simmer.

  8. 8

    Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, and then add the vinegar.

  9. 9

    Simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring every once in a while.

  10. 10

    Remove the pot from heat and take the fabric out of the water.

  11. 11

    Rinse it under hot tap water and then hand wash with Synthrapol detergent until all of the dye has been washed out.

Tips and warnings

  • Take care to change the temperature of the wool gradually because sudden changes can ruin the dye process. Heat the water slowly and likewise, cool the fabric down slowly.

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