To Dye For

I volunteer at our local elementary school for the “Magic Hands” knitting club.  They are 5th and 6th grade students who meet each Tuesday after school to learn to knit and crochet.  The instructor invites local fiber artists to meet with the kids and share their crafts.  In April, an alpaca farmer will show them how to make felted soap using the alpaca fleece.  I am preparing the fleece for the kids to use.  And I’m having more fun than the law allows!  After researching safe methods to dye fleece, I picked Kool-aid and Wilton cake decorating food coloring gel to be the best dyes to use.  I’m getting amazing results.

This is alapca fleece  on the top and Cormo sheep wool on the bottom dyed with cherry Kool-aid.  It’s interesting to see how the different types of fleece takes on the color.  And it smells good, too.IMG_2133Next up is alpaca fleece and Cormo sheep wool dyed with Royal Blue cake decorating gel.  I had read that the  blue dye will sometimes break down, depending on temperature, into reds and different shades of blue.  That works out great!  IMG_2135I am going to make one felted soap from the dyed fleece to check color fastness.  I want to make sure the kids don’t go home with red and blue hands.

See ya,

Sandy

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About psobrien

Hi, my name is Sandy and I am a retired professional quilter turned fiber artist with my main interest in spinning wool , using natural plants to dye fiber to be used in tapestry weaving. I grew up on a dairy farm in Kentucky, travelled around the world and now make my home in Southeastern Arizona with my husband, Pat and Duffy, our Westiepoo.
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4 Responses to To Dye For

  1. gatlinfamily says:

    I have a fourth grader who would LOVE to have a program like that after school!  That’s awesome that you are helping do this, and the colors are AWESOME and so bright!! (and a little Kool-Aid on their hands will just be evidence of all their hard work, lol, which they might think is half the coolness factor!!!).  Hope you and Pat are doing well!April  

  2. So pretty! The kids will love playing with the colored fiber! Have fun.

  3. psobrien says:

    I’ve got several more colors to make, orange, purple, more greens and blues. I have more natural alpaca colors to use. Just too much fun!

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