on dyeing vegan silks

with the warmer days i am moved to dyeing vegan silks again this season.. last summer i took a brief sojourn dyeing bamboo and was rather taken by the amount of colour run-off in the dyepot, that had me rinsing until my fingers went granny-soft.. the lustrous shine of the boo is certainly worth the huge amount of effort involved in dyeing this cellulose fiber.

I was thrilled to read about some recent research undertaken at the Guild about the properties of bamboo, though i have to note any experiments with heat on this fiber will render it dull & without strength.. so the acid dye, although will render some pale shades, is not the best environment for bamboo, which prefers the cooler temperatures of fiber-reactive/alkaline dye environment.

i digress however, as the photos above are of seacell, soysilk and milk fiber, also known as Silk Latte. I bow to the latter as i do the feet of my yoga guru.. honestly.. i am having much more sucess dyeing silk latte than i am soysilk, though further experiments with this fiber now reveal a highly (read: higher than average) acid environment will render the dyebath clear.

It is no wonder wool blends with these fibers are becoming more prolific around the fibre supply stores.. they are very laborious to handle nekked. Since I dye my own fibers for retail, I am very pesky about perfection.. I will not send handdyes out knowing there could be a chance of dye-particle run-off.. some people are sensitive to chemicals and i just dont think it's a good practise to get lazy with one's product.

i once bought a handdyed tops because the colour was just right for a felting project & the dye bled like crazy on my fingers & into other colours & re-dyed my white areas.. not happy Jan.. so NO, i just wont do it.. i will rinse unitl the cows come home to get the all-clear result. oh yeserie, it's all about care & craft here at the wooldancer headquarters!

And I have to agree with the citric converts out there that it is much much better than vinegar.. worth the extra expense ten-fold.

SPIN update: I am back spinning again.. the brief 2week market-stall frenzy followed immediately by the lead-up preparations to my twinnies birthday had me out for the count for the last 4 weeks.

If you are graciously awaiting a custom order - please know I am spinning like the wind right now & during the next few days to get them in the post.. before I enter the "week-before market stall phase" again for the Indigo Fair on 15th Nov. phew!

spin & dye well *-*
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Blossom said...

hi there,
some very yummy looking wool here!!!!
I am also from the blue mountains and am into knitting..along with some other things.LOL
I also have twins.both girls about to turn 9.

The Hatdiva said...

I'm thrilled you friended me on Flickr. It took me to your blog...which has invaluable info on dyeing bamboo! Recently spun bamboo/organic cotton blend and have not dyed it. Alas, I did set it in a 10 minute boil. Thankfully it did not kill the sheen totally. Though it did melt off all the pretty iridescent bling I had added. A learning experience ;)


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