I dyed my wool top with this really cool technique that I would love to share with you. I used wool top superwash, just because I had to "manhandle" the fiber a bit with this technique.  Here is how it will look when it's done.

Weigh out about 4-ounces of fiber and chain it.


Next, pre-wet the chain in cool water with a nice glug of vinegar. Soak for about 30 minutes.


Prepare a dye pot with orange dye.


When the fiber is presoaked, put the chain in the dye pot. Turn on the heat to just under simmering if you are using leveling acid dyes. 


Cook for about 30 minutes, or till all the dye is exhausted and the water is clear.  Add a little more vingar is dye not exhausing fully.  If it's not, you may have put too much dye in the pot.


Take out the chain and put it in the sink to cool a bit.  You could even run cold water over it because it's superwash!  It won't felt!  When it's cool enough to handle, take apart the chain.


Now here comes the trick.  Re chain, yes, I said re chain, the fiber. 


Make a new dye pot with yellow this time.


Put it in the pot and cook for 30 minutes till all the fiber is exhausted and the water is clear.


You can unchain and chain again and use a third color if you want.  It will look like this if you use a few colors.


  Now take apart the chain and hang it to dry.

This is what this orange will look like when spun thick and thin.

This is the tri-colored top spun thick and thin.


When dyeing yarn, there are strict parameters to get a successful outcome. Such as using soft water, using a certain temperature for leveling acid dyes, cooking time, and the amount of dye solution per yarn weight.  All these ensure proper adherance of dye to the fiber, no bleeding, and no felting.

Learn all this and lots of fun dyeing techniques in my online dying class at the Camaj School of Fiber Arts.


  • Mary Egbert