How I Kettle Dyed My First Roving

I have been wanting to try dyeing yarn and roving for a long time, so I picked up a bunch of Kool-Aid in different colors, pulled out some undyed Corridale roving I’ve had stashed away for awhile, and got to work. I looked up some different techniques online and decided to do kettle dyeing since it was the least messy option.

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First I picked purple (grape) and blue (tropical punch) because I knew that they would mix together well. I put 3 packets of each in two separate measuring cups of 2/3 cup of warm water and set aside. To prep the roving, I put two 2.5 ounce bundles in my crockpot with warm water. The biggest thing to remember is not to put the fiber through any extreme temperature change or it will start to felt.

I let the roving heat up on the “hot” setting for an hour in the crockpot covered. Then I took the purple and added it to the water first. The roving immediately starting soaking up the color. I carefully flipped the roving in the water (again, don’t agitate too much or it will cause felting) and then added the blue to where I could still see white. I gently pushed the roving back down into the water so it could get completely saturated with dye.

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After another almost 2 hours of heat-setting the dye on high in the crockpot covered, the dye was exhausted (meaning the water was clear and all the dye was soaked up into the fiber). I let the roving cool back to room temperature and then dumped the water and gently rinsed the roving in warm water. A quick squeeze in a towel and a few hours outside to dry, the fiber was done! 

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I call this “Royal Tuesday” and I was shocked by the color depth that I was able to get from just a few packets of Kool-Aid. I am excited to spin this up so I can see if I should keep dyeing fiber (I can guess the answer will be “yes!”).

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2 thoughts on “How I Kettle Dyed My First Roving

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Jenny! I have a fleece that I’m working up the courage to comb and spin. Now I’m excited to get to the roving stage so I can try out this dye process.

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