Ingrid Heronimus first demonstrated dip dyeing to me in a class with the Owen Sound Hooking Honey's in 1998.
Dip dyeing allows us to hook continually without changing colours to produce smooth gradations of colour. I will be demonstrating how to do this with uglies and light coloured textures/plaids but any natural,light or medium coloured wool works well.
Read all the instructions before proceeding.
deep pan at least 5 inches (old deep fryers work very well.)
soaked wool - multiply the length of the area to be hooked by 5, if your leaf is 6 inches long your piece of wool needs to be 30" long
3 dye solutions (works with one or two as well)
lots of vinegar or a bit of citric acid
time to complete this task without interruption
rubber gloves..... your choice
After you have prepared your dye solutions heat the pan of water up. Meanwhile use your safety pins to attach your wool to your hanger. Do not place more than two strips on the same set of pins. Have a safety pin at each corner of your wool. You may separate your pins with clothes pins to keep them from sliding over and bunching up your wool resulting in uneven dyeing.
When using three formulas to dip dye I use a light, medium and dark dye.
Pour your light dye solution into the pan. Take hold of your hanger and dip your wool into the water. Immerse the wool slowly while swishing it around. After 3 or 4 minutes add your vinegar or citric acid crystals and lay the wool right into the bath and keep movement going until the dye bath is exhausted( cleared).
Remove wool. Add your medium colour into the dye bath, Immerse wool slowly to the 2/3 point. KEEP DIPPING UP AND DOWN . This will keep you from having a definite line on your wool. Add more vinegar if necessary. If more blending of colours is desirable wait until dye bath is almost exhausted and lay your wool in the bath all the way.
Remove your wool again. Add your darkest colour , this time just dip in the bottom 1/3 of your wool . Keep dipping all the time, as the dye bath exhausts dip more of the wool in the water.
Take a good look at your wool, are you sure the bottom is dark enough ? Usually people don’t make it dark enough to be effective so use a bit of black , navy or purple to darken it up.
If you are using one colour of dye pour all the dye into the dye bath, add in the bottom third..... swish around and dipping past the third mark from time to time, for a few minutes, then add in the next third. Dipping and swishing the two thirds of wool into the pan, slowly begin to add in the last third.
You can throw the whole piece of wool in now. Stir around until all the dye is gone.
Good dip dye has no sharp lines.
It takes time to perfect this.
Don't answer the door or phone. Keep your wool moving!
Rinse well and hang to dry. If you are using thin wool you can place it in the dryer to make it denser.