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Handpainted yarns

KarinM's picture

I´ve fallen in love with handpainted yarns and would like to make my own. Does anyone know what dye to use and how to do it?

eauinaz's picture

try contacting Dharma Trading. <>

they are very helpful, quick to respond and easy to deal with.

justTISH's picture

Karen, the reply about Dharma was right in target.  They have so many different dyes, and the dyes come in all sorts of forms: powders, thin liuqids, thick liquids for painting, etc.  The catalog does tell you which fibers the dyes work with, and also what you need to set the dyes.  Some take chemical mordants and some are set with heat.

I've never dyed or painted yarns, but I've been thinking about trying some painted warp weaving on my inkle loom to make some unusual straps and belts, so I'm interested in your finds.  As a fabric painter, I suggest that you begin by just playing with your materials.  Play is good, and very educational.


If a woman is to have a well-kept home, she must have power tools and a tool shed to call her own.

sueb115's picture

don't be too quick to discount everyday dyes like rit and kool aid.  I've seen some really cool yarns dip dyed with the kool aid method.  There are a lot of good books out there on dying fabric and yarns, check with, your local bookstore or library and I'm sure you'll find a lot of references to use, and if all else fails just play around and have fun with it !


rfresia's picture

Your local library might have a book or two on the subject but if not, I've found our library is very willing to get something on interlibrary loan.  Reading about it first would let you know what materials and tools you'll need and where to get them.  Please post what you do and let us know how easy or difficult it is to do.  I have vivid memories of our Brownie troop doing tie-dyed T-shirts so I'm still leary about trying it.   rjf



KarinM's picture

Thank you all for good advice.

Since I live in Sweden there are not so many books on the subject and the only one´s I´ve found surfing is about fabric.

The " regular" dyes that you can bye in the stores here doesn´t work with wool and I´m planning to use wool, but I´m gonna start with a visit to my local craftshop and see what dyes they carry.

I´ve been thinking about hanging the yarn in tha bath so just a piece of it´s actually is in the bath.

Ive also been thinking of laying out the yarn loosely on plastic  and dropp different dyes over it probably in a thick solution and let it dry between so it will not be a lot of unwanted grey colours. My concern is how to get the dye even over all the yarn.

last year I dyed wool using koolaid and vinegar and it turned out very well. I used 2 envelopes of grape for 100g of woolyarn and knitted a cople of gloves that still smell good.

I´ll let you know about my experiments

Elisabeth's picture

What about using natural plant dyes that you make yourself? You can find information on the web on which plants make what colors and how to do it. If you live in the city there are plant materials in the kitchen. Onion peels for example can make a pretty yellow and red cabbage a purple.