I had a couple pounds of beautiful washed mohair locks and I thought it would be fun to try ombre dying or well, art dying of the fibers! So I picked out three different dye colors that I wanted to work within. Green, gold and purple. And then I picked a few different dyes in that range.
Dying is really quite easy and fun. First you get some super hot, boiling water going in some nice old pots. I find the old aluminum ones work best. I got these two at a thrift store and they are my dedicated pots. I would like to find a super nice big one, but so far… it has alluded me!
I use quart mason jars to mix my dyes in. Just a teeny bit of dye goes a long way! In fact, I had to buy a little teeny set of measuring spoons… they go down to a 32th of a teaspoon!!!
Just add a little of the boiling water and vinegar solution to the jars and stir well until the dye is dissolved.
Now to prepare my mohair fiber, I took a big cookie pan and laid a trashbag on it. That way I could use the bag to do the final heat set and it would be very easy to lay the fiber out to mix the dyes on it. You’ll see what I mean in the next photo…
The fiber was damp, just wrung out lightly and quickly. It’s super hot but I let it drip off most of the easy water. Then I laid it all out. With each dye mixture, I just swirled and poured it all over the mohair, being careful not to over lay the dyes too much. I didn’t want them to muddy up. I knew that some blending would happen and I wanted that, just not too much. And I left some white because I knew it would soak up dye as it laid there.
When it was almost done soaking, I used a big flat spoon to just press it all down into the dye completely, making it very completely saturated. Then I just gathered up the sides of the bag and tied them in a loose knot. After that, I popped it in the microwave for a few minutes. I found that 4 to 5 minutes really steam set the fiber and all the water in the bottom was clear. That’s a great sign that your dye has been completely absorbed.
After heating in the microwave, you just rinse. Nice warm water to begin with and then to cool. If you did a pretty good job of matching your amount of dye with your fiber, it should rinse out very clear. I had a wee bit of blues coming out, but the other two worked out perfect! Just rinse until it’s all nice and clear! Then I wring tightly to get as much water out and lay on some soft thick towels to wick out more dampness.
If I just lay the moahir on a towel, changing often, or drap over a screen to dry, it seems to take about two days. It’s amazing just how much water the stuff will soak up! But it’s so worth the wait. Now, in the summer, you can lay it in the sun and it will take much less time. I hope to make a little drying screen rack for my fiber this summer!
This mohair turned out so deliciously! The colors… oh my! Just want I hoped for. A light variation throughout the locks, just stunning. So pretty. Can’t wait to get it in the Etsy shop and also to use some for my own spinning and blending projects! Beautiful!
You can see our homestead fibers in our Etsy shop!