Ever find yourself wanting to add a bit of you to your crochet projects? White and light natural colors, that are made from natural fibers, has so much potential to add a bit character to. Learn how to dip dye a crochet project in this written, picture, and video tutorial!
Once you see how easy dip dying is, there will be nothing holding you back! In a few easy steps, you'll have a vibrant new project with much more character than the plain colors. Keep reading to find out exactly what you need to dip dye your next crochet project!
This is the first tutorial in the Dyeing a Crochet Project series. Learn how to get an ombré effect in this tutorial.
- A crochet project using wool or cotton (I used the Granny Diamond Coaster Crochet Pattern to stash bust and dip dye for this tutorial!) Plus an additional strand of yarn to test color.
- All Purpose Dye (I used Rit All Purpose Dye in Emerald but food coloring can also be used)
- White Vinegar
- Plastic container (or any contain that is not aluminum. I've used glass and plastic bowls. You can also use a clean container that you wouldn't mind getting dye on, like a pitcher, ice cream pail, 5 gallon bucket.)
- Safety glasses
- Surface protector (such as plastic wrap, plastic table cloth, or something that will not absorb the dye and ruin the surface you're working on)
- Tongs or Wooden Ring with dowel
- Drying Rack
- Old dish cloth, towel or blanket
- Optional: Dye Fixative (make sure to read directions, this is normally done immediately after dying is complete and helps retain color)
- Optional: Salt (for enhances color)
- Optional: Liquid Dish Soap (1 tsp for even dying)
- Optional: Citric Acid Crystals/Powder (used with acid dyes and works on wool but not cotton or linen)
Click here to jump right to the video tutorial!
Let's begin the dip dying tutorial!
Gather all your dip dyeing supplies near a sink, preferably a wash basin. Having a sink near by not only is helpful for rinsing, it's also a handy way to wipe up spills up quickly.
1: Prep your crochet project
Start by soaking your crochet project and a strip of the same yarn, your gauge swatch, or a small swatch, for 30 minutes. This project I used 4 cups of water with 1/2 cup vinegar. If dyeing a larger project, increase the water/vinegar solution keeping the same ratios.
2: Ready your work area
I really encourage a plastic table cloth, or something to protect the surface you're working on. Along with that, make sure to protect your eyes with safety glasses and hands with gloves.
Some dyes vary with directions. Make sure to follow the directions on your dye. For example, how hot the dye bath should be as well as the maximum amount of time the project should be in it. Another common variation is if the project should be rinsed with hot of cold water.
3: Prep your water and dye mix
Get water to roughly 140° F. Shake to mix your bottle of dye. Add a little dye at a time to get the color/shade of your choosing. This is where you'll add of the option items. 1 cup salt will enhance color, 1 tsp liquid dish soap will help with even dying as well as citric acid crystals.
Once the swatch and project have been soaking for 30 minutes, remove from water/vinegar solution and gently squeeze out excess water. Do not wring it out or agitate the fibers.
4: Test a swatch!
Super important!! Test a swatch or yarn strand of the yarn you used for your project. With larger projects especially, you don't want to ruin your project because it isn't the color you intended. A test swatch for the exact amount of time will show what the end result will be. If you anticipate leaving the project in for a longer amount of time, I would recommend recording the amount of hot water and how much dye you've used for your test. You may need to reheat water and remake another dye bath.
5: Dye your crochet project
Dip your project completely in your dye bath. Or you can continuously dip the project in and out to achieve the result you want. The longer the dye sits, the more dye your project will absorb.
6: Prep your project for drying
Once your project has been in the dye bath to achieve the color of your choosing, rinse out with water (temperature according to your dye directions). Water must run clear. After, roll your project in a dish cloth or towel to soak up excess water.
7: Let project completely dry
Using a drying rack of some sort will speed up the drying process. This will allow air to not only reach the top but also the bottom. Laying on a flat surface with no air flow under it will result in a longer drying time.
Once your project is completely dry, enjoy it!
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