How to Dip-Dye Yarn Skeins
Dip dyeing yarn creates a repeating color sequence that you accomplish by dipping the yarn into containers of dye mixed with acid. After you have prepared your skeins by wrapping and soaking them, and mixed your dye colors, it is time to start the actual dyeing process.
1Remove the skeins from the soak and gently press out water.
You may place them in the washing machine on the spin cycle for 1 minute to remove all excess water.
2Spread two sheets of plastic wrap, slightly longer than the length of the skeins, on the table.
The strips of plastic should overlap by about 2 inches.
3Pour the dye solutions into the plastic tubs. Add 1 teaspoon citric acid crystals to each container and stir.
Adding citric acid crystals to the dye makes the dye strike the fiber more quickly.
4Place two plastic rings on a skein.
The rings become handles while dip-dyeing and will help you keep your gloves clean while maintaining control of the skein.
5Dip one-third of the skein (about 18 inches) into the first color.
Hold and swish the skein in the solution to allow the fiber to grab the dye.
6Lift the skein and allow the excess dye to drip back into the container.
Then gently press out excess dye.
7Rotate the skein by repositioning the two rings. Dip the next third of yarn into the second color.
In dip-dyeing, there is the tendency for colors to bleed together. Take care when dipping not to dip the dyed portion of one section when dipping the next color. This will help prevent the dye solutions from becoming contaminated by other colors.
8Lift the skein and allow the dye to drip back into the container. Gently squeeze out excess dye.
Even when using the rings, your gloves may become splattered with dye. To prevent staining the undyed yarn, keep a small bowl of water on your worktable. Dip your hands in it to rinse off your work gloves when changing from working with one color to another.
9Repeat the dipping process for the last color on the last third of the skein.
Be sure to wear rubber gloves and safety glasses when you work with dyes and keep children and pets out of your work area.
10Set the dyed skein on the sheet of plastic wrap and remove the plastic rings.
The final step in the process is steaming.