dye for cotton yarn

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fjheller wrote
on Apr 19, 2010 7:56 PM

I made a yellow cotton sweater.  The color reflects up onto my face and looks terrible.  I

would like to dye it.  Was thinking of using blue to make it end up green.  Any suggestions

would be appreciated.

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AndreaW wrote
on Apr 22, 2010 11:11 PM


   I've only once tried to dye cotton yarn....with KoolAid. I've dyed lots of wool very successfully w/ the KoolAid...but the cotton was a complete FLOP!!!  Despite trying hard to "set" the color w/ both vinegar + salt....repeatedly...the color ended up washing out about 98%. Phooey!!!  Big waste of time/ $/ vinegar/ salt/ + water!!!  I think I'll stick to the wool in future.

    So I guess I do have one suggestion for you. Make a swatch w/ leftover yarn + use that for whatever dye method you try. Do not use the sweater as a test piece...you may ruin it. My white cotton yarn wasn't quite white afterwards...sort of a weird orangey off-white. I had used orange + lime KoolAid. it was absolutely beautiful...until I tried to rinse it out!!!

    Worse case scenario...you might be able to trade w/ someone for another sweater or more yarn in a better-for-you color...if it's not ruined.

    Hopefully someone else may have a fool-proof method for you...hope so!!!

          Good LUCK ...... Andrea

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SheilaB@23 wrote
on Apr 23, 2010 2:37 PM


I remember tie dying T shirts as a teen.  We used a clothing dye.  You can try it they still sell it.



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fjheller wrote
on Apr 24, 2010 5:31 PM

Thanks, Sheila.  Do you remember the name of the dye?  Was it good, old Rit?  I haven't seen it in years, but I'll look for it.




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on Sep 2, 2010 3:19 AM

Sheila is right.. just try it Sir.

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L Tyler wrote
on Sep 2, 2010 7:53 AM

Hi, just to add my 2 cents - Kool Aid is an acid dye, which is why it works on wool but not cotton. I'd second the idea of using Rit dye - some WalMart stores carry it - if not in the craft section, try around the laundry section. Also, doing a swatch-test is very good advice. If you're feeling adventurous, & know someone who does indigo dyeing, that would work on cotton.

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fjheller wrote
on Sep 2, 2010 2:29 PM

I bought RIT and the results surpassed my expectation.  I did it in my kitchen sink.  My horrible-yellow sweater is now a beautiful vivid rose.  Miraculously it completely covered the yellow.  I love it!

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ZassZ wrote
on Sep 2, 2010 3:34 PM

I know it works well on cloth because a friend uses it all the time & gets good results. 

 And all the women who were wise of heart spun with their hands, and they kept bringing as yarn the blue thread and the wool dyed reddish purple, the coccus scarlet material and the fine linen.   Ex. 35:25 

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Zoe wrote
on Sep 2, 2010 6:33 PM

I bought RIT and the results surpassed my expectation.  I did it in my kitchen sink.


Hi to all dyers,

Yes, the RIT works well only as long as there are some cotton fibers in the item being dyed.  I would use the white RIT on my bras to get any yellow out from the laundry soap.  But now I have no bras that have cotton in them and so don't buy white bras anymore.

I have also seen the RIT dye in the grocery store where the fabric laundry soaps are. 

Any other people who are interested in further dyeing yarns, please check out our dye sites on the SOCKS forums.  Starts addressing the dyes on page 5, also lately, there have been more dye issues addressed on the SOCKS forum.  Please come over there and check it out!  Also contribute to the discussions! 

Knitting is good but my dyed yarns come in the yarns!  Zoe Smile

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volinlai wrote
on Sep 20, 2011 9:17 PM

Good point

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Lady Sophia wrote
on May 14, 2012 9:00 PM

I love the thread. I enjoy reading all the post.

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