Wednesday, March 19, 2008

An experiment with Wilton's black and vinegar

I recently dyed some wool mill ends and wanted to try and experiment with Wilton's black and see what results I would get. A friend of mine had recently played with it and used a different method then I had originally used when I first tried Wilton's so I wanted to try and compare the two methods with the black to see what I would get. She had loosely followed PieKnits method while I had loosely followed the one found in this blog.

I really didn't find much of a difference between using the microwave and the stove but I did find a difference between presoaking the fiber with vinegar and not.

In the above photo the two on the left were done in the microwave and the ones on the right on the stove. For the ones on the stove I followed the directions in the blog exactly for both with the only difference being that I presoaked the one on the far right with vinegar. The dye exhausted for both and yet the one that was not presoaked came out very light like a pastel and with very little green.

Here's another shot I got outside which may give a better idea of the results. I should have kept them in the same order but I obviously didn't think it through. In this shot the two center braids were dyed using the microwave. I started off following the directions exactly with the only difference between whether they were presoaked or not but ran into a problem when the one that was not presoaked in vinegar didn't exhaust the dye. In fact it looked like it had hardly taken any of the dye at all even after I let it sit all night. I ended up adding a glug of vinegar to the mix and redoing the microwave in order to get the dye to exhaust. I would say it ended up similar in tone tone to the other one but for some reason has a lot more greens.

Overall the one presoaked in vinegar and dyed on the stove seemed the darkest and I actually found stove dyeing to be much easier than the microwave method. I had planned on doing something similar with Wilton's royal blue but ran out of time and ended up just throwing the fibers together in the pot.

The funny part is here the fibers not presoaked with vinegar came out a deeper tone. I'm thinking about overdyeing the fibers on the left to see if I can get a similar blue as the one on the right.

I'm also thinking about overdyeing the blacks as well with more black to see if I can get a little bit darker and to take out the pastel bits.

I had a lot of fun doing this and want to pick up a lot more colors to play with. I tried handpainting yesterday and will need to write up and post the results for that as well. Though I've already uploaded the pics to my Flickr account if you want a peek.


Anonymous said...

I also used some standard black food coloring on one of my black batches...the dye was very green and I think added more green to the mix. (which made the normally dark red patches darker and closer to black).

you might want to try that

Michael said...

I was actually wondering if I picked up some red and some green dyes and over dyed with those if I could get closer to black, though that may be a little too much dyeing as I'm not sure how many I can before I end up with a mess.