Not anymore! I changed my mind about hand-dyeing recently when I had the opportunity to experiment with Cushing’s Direct Dyes. These dyes are formulated specifically for dyeing cotton and other plant-fiber yarns. They’re heatset in a pot on the stove, which turned out to be much easier than I expected.
After a bit of trial and error, I got the hang of combining colors and using different application methods, and my results really improved. In fact, I now have a new craft obsession. If you’d like to try dyeing your own cotton yarn, here’s what you’ll need:
• Cotton or other plant-fiber yarn (I used Patons Grace lightweight mercerized cotton)
• Cushing’s Direct Dyes*
• White vinegar
• Stainless steel, glass or ceramic vessel suitable for stovetop use
• Plastic basins or buckets
• Measuring cups and spoons
• Squirt bottles or jars
• Wooden spoon, skewers, eyedropper, syringe, plastic spoons and forks
• Old bath towels and paper towels
*Cushing’s dyes are available at www.wcushing.com.
Note: All vessels and utensils should be used only for dyeing. Refer to manufacturer’s directions for guidance on amounts of dye, water, salt and vinegar to use for each step. Cover all work surfaces with a vinyl tablecloth or plastic sheeting.
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