Today, I have a quick photo walk through of how I dyed up the team braids for my Tour de Fleece team.
DISCLAIMER: My kitchen is tiny, old fashioned, and has horrible lighting!
1) Pre-soaked fiber
2) Dye pot filled with water
3) Dye, either in the form of “raw” dye (powder, gel, tabs) or a pre-mixed solution
4) Acid in the form of vinegar, citric acid, or even lemon juice if you’re in a pinch! The acid can either be added to the dye pot or to the water your fiber is soaking in.
For this particular colorway, I added water, vinegar and dye (I started with pink, but it doesn’t matter) to the dye pot and set it over medium heat. You want a decent sizzle, but definitely not any form of boiling. While the liquid in the pot is warming up, I squeezed all the excess water from the fiber and prepped it for dyeing.
The look of the team braid is achieved by how I folded the fiber before placing it into the pot:
First, I matched the two rough ends together (where the fiber was pulled apart and separated into smaller strips), essentially folding it in half. I then took the bottom end and folded that up toward the top end, folding it into quarters. This is what’s shown above.
I grabbed what was now at the bottom end, and again, folded it to meet with the top end, like so.
I placed one end, doesn’t matter which, into the pot of pink dye and left the other half to hang out in an old casserole dish. You need something to hold the other end of the fiber because water is going to transfer from the pot, down the length of your fiber. Once the dyed end has absorbed all of the color, the undyed end should be sitting in a decent sized puddle!
Now remember, this fiber and water is going to be VERY HOT, but you do need to squeeze the excess water from the oppose end, and repeat with your second color.
And that’s pretty much that! Give your fiber a good rinse, squeeze (or spin– in a salad spinner or your dryer) out the excess water, and lay your finished fiber out to dry! The result is a fiber with nice long color repeats, perfect for fractal spinning or striping effects.
The same look can also be achieved by hand-painting, as long as the fiber is folded the same way. And, with hand-painting, you can add multiple chunks of color.
So, have fun! If you dye any fiber using this technique, let me know! Post a photo over in the group!
As always, happy crafting!