Sharing my little dye secrets as I go about applying color to some Shetland roving I grew and had produced at the Virginia Fiber Mill.
I start off by winding the roving around my forearm. I place the ring of roving in the pot (steel or enameled) so I can distribute the dye through out the roving.
I add water until it just covers the roving. I don’t want it swimming around.
Then I set the pot onto a portable burner and set the heat to 180°. I let it come up to temperature, takes about 20 minutes. This allows the fiber to become saturated too.
Now to formulate the plan of action. I draw a circle and make a map of how I will pour the dye.
I add the appropriate amount of dye, and mix with hot tap water. Once the temperature of the heating fiber is at 180°, it is time to pour.
I pour across the the rows of roving according to my map. I let the simmering continue for another 20-30 minutes. Then I let cool, usually over night.
Then when cool, I drain off the water which should be near clear. I rinse the roving in my work sink, being careful not to agitate.
I hang to drain the water and let dry…And there you are.
I bag up to sell in my etsy farm shop or at one of the fiber festivals I attend. It is fun to work with wool I grow in my own pasture. It is lovely stuff, great to spin, to felt with. The sale of our hand dyed roving helps to support our farm and allows us to continue providing wonderful fiber for you.