Thursday, April 10, 2008


I had been planning on using my big pots to dye the weft skeins. At most, I planned that I could handle two at a time. But then I weighed the skeins.

The skeins weighed 10 grams each. Actually, they weighed 9.5 grams, but I decided to round up to 10 for easier calculating.

When you dye anything, you have to calculated the total amount of dye liquor (water + dye solution + additives) needed. The minimum amount is 30 times the weight of the fiber. 30 times 10 is 300. 300 grams, you say? That is dry weight. But since each gram is the liquid equivalent of one millileter (ml), that translates to 300 ml of liquid total.

In case you are choking on the metric system, 300 ml is a tiny bit more than 1 cup.

The wonderful and practical result of this is that I could make much more efficient use of my time. Instead of a large pot with one skein in it, I could use my electric frying pan (cheap, dedicated to dyeing) for a water bath in which to place the five canning jars I would need, one for each skein. And that is what you are looking at in the picture.

The long thing sticking out of one of the jars is a thermometer. It has a metal shield on it to protect it from breaking.

My assumption, in using only one thermometer, is that all the jars in the pan heat up to about the same temperature. And I need the thermometer because I have to control the speed with which the temperature rises, and I can let that temperature, with silk, get no higher than 200 degrees fahrenheit.

When I finished, I let the skeins sit in the jars overnight to soak up any more dye it might soak up. Then I rinsed them and they are now hanging to dry.

Tomorrow, on to the blues.

Related Posts:
Dye Stock Solutions
Anger Despite Playing with Dyes

1 comment:

Janice said...

Using the electric frying pan is a great idea--so much easier to handle than a large pot. Where do you do this dyeing? I ask because I've been afraid to do it in the kitchen, but don't have another good place. Is it OK if you keep all the utensils for dyeing separate from those for cooking, or is there a danger of fumes and spatters getting on food and eating utensils?