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How to Tie Dye Yarn

Learn how to tie dye yarn in this Howcast video.


In this video I'm going to teach you how to tie-dye yarn.

This technique can be very useful when you're trying to achieve a dyeing effect on the yarn that you have that you can't find in stores or if you're a knitter and you want to develop your very own colors. I think you'll like this a lot. I have a couple of examples here illustrating different techniques that you can do. For instance, this skein was just dipped on one end so half of it is dyed this turquoise color and the other half is white. On this one we just did a very subtle tie-dye with different colors using light yellow, some orange, but it's a very variegated effected but very subtle. This one too by using more contrasting colors. Still variegated but using lilac and yellow.

In this tutorial I'm going to illustrate a different technique. A little bit like this one but instead of leaving one end un-dyed I'm actually going to dip each end in a different dye color.

To start, all you need is yarn. It should be from a natural fiber if you're using fiber reactive dyes. So silk, wool, cotton. You can't really dye the yarn in these shapes so if you're buying it in a ball form you first have to convert the ball form into a skein.

To make a skein it's really easy and you can use a skein winder or other tools, but you can just use your own body and your arms. The easiest way to make a skein is to actually grab one end and then just wrap it around your elbow and construct the skein like that. You can go as thick as you want but you get the idea.

Once you're done with your skein you just want to tie the two ends together and maybe make some loops around the skein to keep it together and from not losing it's shape. Once you have your yarn into the skein form you're ready to dye it.

First, you want to get it wet, as in any dyeing technique, and you want to prepare your dye bath. I prepared a yellow dye bath in here and a blue dye bath in here. I just added the dye to the water and I add some dye activator to it. After this I'm going to dip one of the ends in the yellow and I'm going to dip the other end in the blue.

Maybe I want to place them a little closer together and I'm just going to let it stay like this for one hour. During that hour the dye will sort of walk through the fiber and you'll see that it will eventually meet in here. After one hour, too, you're ready to rinse and to let it dry.

If you 're dyeing wool you want to make sure it dries flat and slowly and after that you're ready to knit or crochet or do anything you want with your yarn.

This is how you tie-dye yarn.

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