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How to Dye Wool for Rug Hooking: Getting Started

Wool dye recipe colors for Dyeing by the NumbersJust getting started can be the most difficult step. My best advice is to arm yourself with information, the right tools and enough wool so that if something goes wrong, you can try again. The first step is to get supplied. Order from PRO Chem the following items:
*prices are as of April 2009

  1. Starter kit #SLINC $10.95
    • You will not find this item online, but if you call them ask for the kit that goes with the Recipes From the Dye Kitchen book.
  2. 6 8 oz. bottles, #SQB.8W/Y $1.25
    • One for each of the five colors and one for synthrapol.
  3. 6 Flat caps for the bottles #CAP.8 $0.14
    • One for each bottle.
  4. 6 Tri-pour beakers #BEA.250 $1.25
    • You really only need one, but having more gives you options. They are easy to store.

*”These prices are good as of April 2009.

To measure the dye you will need dye spoons. Many recipes call for 1/128 of a teaspoon! I developed a way to dissolve the dye in one cup of boiling water and then to measure the dye with just regular kitchen measuring spoons. Order Dyeing by the Numbers for a detailed explanation. Some people are concerned about the being exposed to the powdered dye. This method limits your exposure to just once every few months when you mix up another batch.

So far, you have spent about as much as you would for just the dye spoons!

Next you will need wool to dye. This can be recycled wool you have found or order some natural wool yardage. I keep natural wool at my studio, so you can order it when you order the book without increasing your shipping.

My book goes into a lot of detail as to what equipment I use and prefer and why. I like stainless steel pots instead of the white enamel. My preference is mainly due to the life of the pot. My stainless steel pots have been with me since 2000, while I have thrown out several white enamel pots. A point to remember is that rust is a stain. If you have chips in your white pots that are rusty and then try to dye a light colored wool, your color will be affected by the rust.

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About Cindi Gay

I always felt like an artist looking for a medium until I found rug hooking. It satisfies all my creative outlets.
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