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How to dye a wool jacket

Updated February 21, 2019

Dyeing wool can help you to make a ready to wear item unique. You can dye wool fabric, yarn or even an already constructed wool jacket. Choose a wool jacket without a lining for the most successful result. Both woven wools and knit wools can be dyed using this method and you can opt for a solid colour or a more unusual dye effect.

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  1. Prepare the jacket for dyeing. Fill a sink or basin with lukewarm water. Add a small amount of wool wash or gentle soap to the water and allow your wool jacket to soak for about 15 minutes. Rinse carefully, avoiding agitation.

  2. Refill the sink or basin with lukewarm water. Add 1 cup to 2 cups of white vinegar to the water and allow the wool jacket to soak for at least an hour or as long as overnight. This will help the wool absorb the dye.

  3. Mix your dye. Protein dyes can be mixed with vinegar and water; however, dye strength and ratios are a matter of personal taste. A 14.2gr jar of a protein dye like Jacquard will dye approximately 0.907 Kilogram of wool; however, darker colours may require more dye. Place enough water in the pot to fully cover the wool jacket and once it is in the pot add dye, adjusting the amounts as necessary for the weight of your jacket.

  4. Test your dye colour by dripping dye onto a coffee filter. Adjust the strength of your wool jacket dye by adding more dye or adding another colour to adjust the shade if desired. Add 1/4 cup of vinegar to your dye solution. Stir well to make sure all dye particles are fully dissolved.

  5. Place your wool jacket into the dye pot. Put on the stove on low heat for approximately 1/2 hour. Stir very gently to avoid agitating the fibre and felting the dyed wool.

  6. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Rinse well with water the same temperature as your wool and wash again with gentle wool wash. You may soak your dyed wool jacket in a solution of water with 1 cup of vinegar to set the dye if needed.

  7. Lay your dyed wool jacket out flat to dry. Be especially careful that the collars, sleeves and hem dry flat and there are no wrinkles in your dyed wool jacket.

  8. Tip

    Use a crock pot on low for approximately 4 hours to dye a smaller jacket.


    Avoid agitating your wool jacket to avoid felting. Extreme temperature changes can cause felting and ruin your dyed wool jacket.

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Things You'll Need

  • Large stockpot, reserved for craft and dye use
  • Protein based dyes
  • White vinegar
  • Large wooden spoon or dowel rod, reserved for craft and dye use
  • Gentle soap or wool wash
  • Eye dropper
  • Coffee filters, bleached

About the Author

With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.

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