Thursday, February 14, 2008



Ann Milner,
The Ashford Book of Dyeing, revised edition. This is my favorite and most used book. It is the one I turn to when I have questions and cannot remember formulas. It has chapters on both natural dyeing and chemical dyeing. The chemical dyes include dyes for protein fibers and cellulose fibers. It has chapters on immersion dyeing, dye painting and dip dyeing, using a microwave oven. And it has a wonderful chapter on dyeing experiments using small bits of fiber (yarn or fabric). I have done some of them and have learned much as a result. I cannot recommend this book too highly.

Karren K. Brito, Shibori: Creating Color and Texture on Silk. This book is not just about shibori, it is also about using Sabraset/Lanaset dyes. It is this book that helped me refine and hone my immersion dyeing techniques on silk yarn with Sabraset dyes.

Deb Menz, Color in Spinning. This book is especially useful if you are dyeing fleece. It is also very useful for dyeing any kind of fiber with the Sabraset/Lanaset dyes. I prefer using the procedures Karren outlines in the second book I listed, but Deb has got lots of good information, good pictures, and a lot of interesting formulas for various colors. I have used some of her formulas to add to my own collection and also to give me inspiration for modifying some of my own formulas.

Betsy Blumenthal and Kathryn Kreider, Hands On Dyeing. This was not the book that taught me how to dye, but it is one I would very much recommend for the very beginner who doesn't know where to start. The book is very very beginner friendly and at the same time very sound in technique. Though written for beginners, it uses the metric system, not the English system that we all know. Having started with the English system and then moved to the metric, I cannot say strongly enough how much better the metric system is.

They talk about the very basics of dyeing techniques and then move onto more details of the process. There are chapters on color theory and color mixing. There is a chapter on dip dyeing and rainbow dyeing and another chapter on overdyeing. That last chapter is valuable for there are few books that discuss overdyeing.


Patricia Lambert, Barbara Staepelaere and Mary G. Fry, Color and Fiber. A big book, both physically and in terms of content. There is a lot of scientific theory of color here, but with particular application to fiber. There are some interesting exercises. I look at it a bit from time to time. It is always challenging. Whether I will actually grow into the book is a difficult question.

Janet DeBoer, ed., Dyeing for Fibres and Fabrics. A collection of essays from an Australian textile periodical. Most are easy to read and all are interesting.

Bailey Curtis, Dyeing to Colour: Microwave Dyeing and other Quick and Easy Methods of Colouring Fabric with Dye. Quick dyeing is not my particular thing, but I appreciate that it does have its place. I also appreciate that this is exactly what many wannabe dyers need and they may never need or want anything else. This, I think, is one of the better books. The book is English, so there are some English terms and a few English dyes. But this should not create a problem for Americans who want to try these techniques.

Linda LaBelle, The Yarn Lover's Guide to Hand Dyeing: Beautiful Color and Simple Knits. This is a lovely book with some interesting dyeing projects. I particularly like the pictures on page 79 which photograph just exactly how this person dipdyes a skein of yarn in multiple pots of different colored dye solutions.

Katy Jane Widger, The New Color Wheel Fabric Dyeing. I'm not actually recommending this particular book. I am including it because it is the first edition of this book that got me started in dyeing some ten years ago. It uses the English system. There are apparently some inaccuracies (this from people on the email dyers list). But I will always have a soft spot in my heart for this book.


Leigh said...

Thank you for these, Peg! BookLover that I am, I'm always interested in reviews.

Dorothy said...

Thanks for taking us into your library like this. I have lots of dyeing books, it doesn't stop me wondering what's in between the covers of the ones I haven't got! Karen Brito's book is on my wish list.

ClaudiaJane said...

This is great and very timely for me. I dyed a large skein of 60/2 silk on Sunday. It's dry and ready for winding so I am following your blog with bated breath.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Claludia Jane, thank you for visiting and commenting. I assume with your background you have worked with 60/2 silk before and probably have things to teach me! I am still learning and welcome all the help I can get. Meanwhile, I hope you are finding my learning experiences helpful.