View Full Version : Dyeing question

05-15-2008, 08:59 PM
I've been selling some of my hand dyes at a LYS, and the owner emailed me today to tell me that a customer had come in because after knitting up her garment she had washed it and the dye had released.

This is superwash wool, dyed with food coloring and/or KA. I soak in an acidulated water bath, dye in simmering dye baths, and rinse in warm water until clear. How is it that the dye could release after all that? Anyone have any thought, ideas, experiences?

I feel terrible, especially since it was already knitted up... what is an appropriate response? I can replace the yarn, but all I have is more hand-dyed, and unless I can figure out the problem that's not worth a whole lot.

05-16-2008, 11:49 AM
Could you offer to re-dye the knitted item for her for free, different finish but at least similar colour. I dunno about dyeing as I haven't tried it yet, but maybe she washed it too hot or something

05-16-2008, 01:24 PM
After the yarn has dried, have you tested the color-fastness by washing with soap and/or detergent and/or shampoo?

You will want to do this with each of the colors you dye before you sell it to the public.

Or, go with good yarn dyes where this step has already been done for you

05-17-2008, 10:38 PM
My original response to this thread has been bothering my all day long.

I am sympathatic with the OP, but at the same time, I've had a beautiful crocheted & felted project ruined by a bad dye job.

My opinion is also tainted by being a lye soaper of almost a decade and giving a lot of free soap to folks who tell me they refuse to buy homemade lye soap because of a bad experience they have had purchasing homemade soap. (Most of which are now return customers).

OP- You've learned a hard and possibly expensive lesson. Bad reviews seem to travel faster than good reviews. Before selling to the public, make sure your dyed yarns are color-fast. This will mean some extra work on your part by using specific weight of yarn to specific amount of water and vinegar and dye substance.

Check for color fastness by soaking your dyed yarn (after it dries) in soapy water. Does it bleed?

You may have to adjust the amount of water & vinegar.

Know also, that depending on the type of yarn (i.e. what type of wool you are dyeing) that this ratio of water & vinegar may change.

Adding a couple drops of liquid detergent to your dye bath may help with the color fastness, also when rinsing your yarn, adding some salt may help.

It's easy to come up with a pretty colorway, it's much harder to make that color last when using KA or food dyes.

You may be able to have this disgruntled customer help you as a tester, by offering her some free yarn.

Please take this post with an open mind knowing that I only want you to become a success with your fiber art.

I wish you all the best.

05-18-2008, 06:33 PM
Thank you for the input, I do appreciate it.

I did pick up the remaining skeins from the LYS and am swatching it up right now. So far one swatch has gone through the washing machine and has had virtually no fading. I have another in the wash now and another OTN.

The customer has been given my contact information, but has yet to contact me about the matter. I did tell the LYS owner to refund her money out of my check if that was what she wanted.