I get a ton of emails asking how do I do this? Dye my wool interlock. So I will post the instructions here, in case you get searching and don’t find what you need elsewhere.
When I dye wool, I used to felt it first then dye it. But now I have decided that it is a wasted step. That is just my preference. The blend will shrink a lot. Like about 13″ to the yard.
I put the pot of water on the stove and add the dye. Stir in the dye and let it go a bit.
Then I toss in the DRY wool.
Stir it up and bring it to a boil. Really, a boil. You don’t have to stir a lot while waiting for the boil. I stir now and then, but nothing wild.
Once it is boiling, I add 1 cup of vinegar, while stirring like mad. I stir about 5 minutes and then see if there is still color in the water. I take out a clear measuring cup full of hot water to see if it is clear. If it isn’t, I add more vinegar, stirring like mad again. It should clear after 5-10 minutes. If not, more vinegar. Do not run the risk of the whole thing boiling over, when you add the vinegar the whole thing will foam up, be careful. Your stove will not like it if it gets water all down in the electronics. Ask me how I know.
After I am satisfied I throw it in the washer just to SPIN. Spin it out and toss it in the dryer for 30 minutes on high heat.
Wash mashine dying is a little different but the principles are the same. I first prepare the dye bath. I like to use the wash machine, so I run nearby water to get it hot, then fill the washer to the desired level with super hot water. A lot of times I will turn up my hot water tank so that the dye will set well. Ok, now that the washer is filling with hot, I get my powdered acid dye and add 1/2 teaspoon dry powder to the water. Let the machine finish filling and then agitate it for about 2 minutes. This distributes the dye, and makes sure all the clumps of dye are broken up. I add the fabric to the machine while it is agitating and let it agitate about 5 minutes. At that point I check the wash to be sure everything looks ok. I then add 1 cup of vinegar, and reset the timer to run another 12 minutes or so. I let it agitate 10 minutes, and then reset and let it agitate some more. After the time has elapsed, I spin the water out and put it right into the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes. This helps set the dye, and finishes felting the wool. I DO NOT wash or felt the wool fabric prior to dying. I also DO NOT use any soap in the dye bath. I was doing this before and I got a lot more streaking than I do by omitting this step.