Monday, July 21, 2008

Wool Dyeing Experiment

It's the great wool dyeing experiment of ....  hmmm.....  of my kitchen!  Alright, it might not be that great, but I just have to do it.  What's "it"?   It's presoaking versus not presoaking.  I know the  wisdom is overwhelmingly presoak, but I have to just have it test it.  

Now it has to be said that I dye a lot,  I mean A LOT of fiber.  I also maintain a stock of certain colors that I reproduce, so I have a very controlled dye method which does include presoaking for at least 30 min.  The reason I'm compelled to do this little experiment is because no matter how careful I am, everyone once in a while a batch will come out a little uneven which makes me crazy.  At the same time, there have been a few occasions when I have been in a rush to get an order done for someone and have skipped the presoaking and had the fiber come out just great.  Is it a fluke?  Can presoaking be a waste of time?

Now I know some of this depends of the fiber, it's quality and type.  I've worked with roving where I was presoaking as much to get is really clean to accept the dye as anything else.  But today I am working with top quality Merino.  

I'm compelled to do this test as today is one of those days that my fiber came out a little uneven even though it was babied through my usual controlled process.  Like I said it makes me crazy, so I ran upstairs, grabbed another half a pound and here I go again.  This time, no presoaking, just the same two dye baths that I made earlier today.  

The experiment is still happening, so I will have to report on the results tomorrow.  I'll post a couple pictures so you can judge along with me.  

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