14 June, 2013

Dyeing Teeswater sheep fleece using Coffee and Tea to achieve natural brown and blonde doll hair shades

I hadn't dyed fleece before, only felt. 
So this was rather fun.

My youngest - Little Pipkin - and I have been making dolls.
He was right when he insisted we really needed some 'natural coloured hair'.

So together, over the next 24 hours, we dyed a portion of the Big Bag
of Teeswater Sheep Fleece, I recently had bought from the UK.

 As usual, I decided to 'wing it' and go by feel. I thought I really couldn't make the fleece TOO dark to use, any resultant natural colour would still look great. 
I knew that coffee and tea could both be used to give a brown colour and that vinegar could be used as a mordant.

This was our method.

back tea. front coffee.
Brown Fleece
12 black tea bags emptied into a stainless steel pan.
Stir in 2L of cold water.
Bring to boil and simmer for 1/2 hour.
Turn off heat and leave to stew for a further 1.5 hours, 
it will begin to cool.
Strain the tea leaves from the water and 
return the brown water to the rinsed pot.
Add 1/2 cup table salt.
Add 1/2 cup of vinegar.
Stir to dissolve salt.
Add 100g clean fleece - very gently submerge.
Place over low heat 1.5hours, with the lid ajar.
Then leave, with lid on, overnight. To soak and cool completely.
*Disturb the fleece as little as you can during the entire process, 
to avoid dreadlocks and felting.

tea
coffee
Blonde Fleece
1/3 cup percolator ground coffee into a stainless steel pan.
Stir in 2L of cold water.
Bring to boil and simmer for 1/2 hour.
Turn off heat and leave to stew for a further 1.5 hours, 
it will begin to cool.
Strain the coffee grounds from the water and 
return the brown water to the rinsed pot.
Add 1/2 cup table salt.
Add 1/2 cup of vinegar.
Stir to dissolve salt.
Add 100g clean fleece - very gently submerge.
Place over low heat 1.5hours, with the lid ajar.
Then leave, with lid on, overnight. To soak and cool completely.
*Disturb the fleece as little as you can during the entire process, 
to avoid dreadlocks and felting.

rinsing coffee dyed fleece
I carefully poured the entire contents from the pot, into our bath and allowed the water to drain away, before submerging the fleece in cold clean water to rinse.

front towel = tea. 
back towel = coffee
 When no more dye was coming out of the fleece through rinsing, 
I gently picked up pieces to lay on a towelling nappy square, pressed lightly to remove any excess water and then left in the shade outside to dry.
 
Brown on left = tea. 
Blonde on right = coffee
I know just what I am going to use this fleece for!
I will be sharing those creations with you soon.

5 comments:

  1. Great results, it turned out beautifully! Can't wait to see what is next :-)

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  2. Fun! I enjoyed your project. I have been purchasing dyed wool on etsy, now I see it can be home dyed.

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  3. Thank you for this tutorial!:)

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  4. Hello! Good to know wool can be dyed home.Loved your idea! I just wonder what did you do get rid of the odor of cofee or tea in the dyed wool. Best Brazilian rgds!Vera

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  5. Absolutely brilliant - thank you so much.

    ReplyDelete

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