Colouring your own wool yarn at home is a fun and creative activity that is easy to do. Food colouring easily colours yarn made from natural protein fibres, such as 100% wool or mohair, but will not work on plant fibres such as cotton, or synthetic fibres.

A dye bath is the easiest way to dye yarn. Get your equipment, yarn and colour ready and experiment with various colour combinations.

What you will need

Wool yarn

Vinegar

Food colouring

Pot

Instructions

  1. Soak the yarn in vinegar diluted with water. Use ¼ cup of vinegar for every 100g of yarn and cover with enough water until the yarn is fully immersed.
  2. Place the vinegar-soaked yarn into a pot. Add another ¼ cup of vinegar for every 100g of yarn and fill the pot with enough water to cover the yarn.
  3. Add the food colouring and gently stir to mix the colour. The yarn also needs to be agitated a bit to further mix the colour, but be gentle.
  4. Heat the pot slowly. If the temperature is increased too quickly, the yarn will felt and have an ugly appearance.
  5. Once the water is almost boiling, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
  6. Once cooled, rinse with tepid water. Water that is too cold will cause the yarn to felt.
  7. Hang it up to dry. Once dried, you can use it for your next knitting project. – Ursula Human, Farmfare

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