I started dyeing my yarns as a hobby when we were living in Lagos. It may sounds impossible but actually it wasn’t that difficult getting the supplies into Africa from outside especially from the UK. It’s quite strange that when I now live in my own country getting items shipped into my place from the usual online shop I purchased my materials is no longer possible. We are a rich country, we have fast land and ocean and that ocean has lots and lots of fishes, the land has lots of plants which can be bartered with those dyes and the plants we have, that can turn to dyes… Don’t worry, I was just complaining to myself.
The difficulties in getting my dyed especially for the hardest material to dye like acrylic had forced me into an exciting exploration. have been using anything to get yarn samples dyed even if the manufacturer said it won’t work, I tried it anyway.
Among the brands sold in the market here, these are the names which are common at my place, Wantex and Dylon. There is only one type of Dylon available here which is the multi purpose powdered dye (is there any other type?). Anyway, so I tried both, it did paint the yarns but they both runs. Even with the fixer. The acrylic yarns just won’t marry to the dye…
I was frustrated although decided not to give up hope. I kept on working and mixing the paste… add more water, reduce water, apply heat, use microwave, use steamer, sun dyed… soften the hue, apply heat again and wash the skein in the sink only to see all the deep color being striped off revealing the naked color of the threads… (sighed and wiped sweat on my forehead).
I have some left over Jacquard iDye Poly from Dharma Trading (the only one which is working so far), I tried also an imported Japanese brand which was intentionally made for acrylic painting on canvas but the label did mention garments in it so I guess that is safe to use. It was funny when I told the guy who sold it what I was going to use it for, he laughed at me with a worry kind of laugh, you know, he was afraid that I was just going to waste my time and money. Well then, is that mean I can’t dye acrylic yarns forever since there is no way I can import Jacquard into here? I can’t take no for an answer to that (the grumpy child in me talking).
I think I will have to live with what I can get locally for now, not too much colors to play with but it will be good enough till I can get to buy Jacquard iDye Poly again… #feeling-hopeful
I learned dying technique from book, Youtube and I did my own research and experiments. I have been reading a book by Gail Callahan “Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece” and subscribed to several hand dying channels on Youtube. My favorite channel is Nicole of Hue Loco. I also follow her Instagram. She has done so much wonderful works.
Note on iDye Poly, must wash garment dyed with this separately.
Rectly dyed (uploaded on May 1st, 2016