It’s Summer again, and wearing a Yarn-Dyed Fabric is best for you.
Today, I’ll take you through how Yarn-Dyed Fabrics stand out among other clothing materials.
I’ll also teach you the processes of Yarn-Dyeing and how to create classic and attractive Do-It-Yourself Yarn-Dyed Fabrics.
Yarn-Dyed Fabrics are not accustomed to the season but make great clothes and make you feel relaxed.
Can We Wear Yarn-Dyed Fabric In Summer?
Yes, we can wear yarn-dyed fabric, but yarn-dyed fabrics are not accustomed to seasons – the difference is just in the type of cloth – some are thick while some are light.
Each season requires clothing we should wear for adaptation. Winter requires thick and heavy clothes, while summer seasons require lightweight and soft clothes. We can wear Yarn-Dyed fabrics in any season as long as we’re relaxed with what we wear.
However, there are so many things you need to know. Let’s look through the following:
What Is A Yarn-Dyed Fabric?
A yarn-dyed fabric is woven or knitted from dyed or pre-dyed yarns. It is done in the old way of dyeing before weaving. It has a unique texture and rustic look, the modern dyeing process.
The yarn-dyed fabrics come in different colors, styles, and patterns, such as plaids, stripes, crosses, dotted, ikat, or gingham checks.
The warp is the lengthwise or vertical set of the yarn on the fabric, with the weft being a transverse set drawn over the warp during the weaving process.
How Do We Identify Yarn-Dyed Fabrics?
- The fabric’s front and back do not match.
- The fabrics are crafted with natural looks.
- The textures are woven into fabric.
- Fabrics with checks and striped patterns are Yarn-Dyed.
Differences Between The Yarn-Dyed Fabrics And The Piece-Dyed Fabrics
To identify the yarn-dyed and piece-dyed fabrics, here are a few tips
- The Yarn-Dyed fabric is pre-dyed before the fabric is woven, while the Piece-Dyed fabric is post-dyed after the fabric is woven.
- The Yarn-Dyed fabric is designed by weaving colored threads into woven designs, while the Piece-Dyed fabric is created by printing onto it with giant rollers.
- The color fastness of a Yarn-Dyed fabric is higher than that of a Piece-Dyed fabric.
- The Yarn-Dyed fabrics are more expensive than the Piece-Dyed fabrics.
What Are Yarn-Dyeing Processes
Dyeing Yarn can either be in hanks or wounds. There are four yarn-dyeing processes. Let’s have a look at them:
Package Yarn-Dyeing is one of the most common and universal processes of yarn-dyeing, where the yarns are wound on spools or perforated cones, creating a pathway for the liquor to pass through.
It means dying on perforated cones in a rack and submerging the fabric into a container or tank. The dye is then forced outward, flowing through the yarn package through the spools or cones and back to the packages through the center by deliberate perforation to penetrate the entire package thoroughly.
2. Hank/Skein Dyeing
Hank or Skein Dyeing is the most expensive process of Yarn-Dyeing. Yarns can be dyed in hanks or skeins loosely arranged to allow a perfect dye penetration, with the yarn retaining its softness.
This process can be done using the hands or machines. The hanks or skeins are hung over a rung and submerged in a dye container or tank.
3. Warp Beam Dyeing
This process is the same as package dyeing but inexpensive and economical. The yarn is wound to a perforated cylinder and then submerged into a tank which is then placed in the warp beam dyeing machine.
It is used when manufacturing woven fabrics with the entire warp beam dyed but knitted or crocheted fabrics produced from the cones do not adapt to warp beam dye.
4. Space Dyeing/Dip Dyeing
This process involves dyeing the yarn with two or more colors. The skeins of yarn are dyed with more than just one color repeating themselves throughout the yarn length.
Space-Dyeing or Dip-Dyeing involves using “Mordant” or “Dye Fixative,” – which is a chemical substance used to fix dyes on fabrics or textiles by eating away the surface of the fabric so the dye can penetrate thoroughly into the fabric and stick well to the material.
Which Fabric is Commonly Yarn-Dyed?
Natural fibers (cotton, silk, linen, and wool) are commonly Yarn-Dyed fabrics because they absorb dyes better than synthetic ones. Dying your fabric is based on your preference.
Why Do We Do Yarn-Dyeing?
Yarn-Dyeing is used for sturdy-color fabrics. It produces multi-colored fabric patterns and styles such as checks, plaids, and stripes. Denim (jean) is one common yarn-dyed fabric, and other typical Yarn-Dyed fabrics such as brocade, madras, gingham, and other multi-colored wefts knitted fabrics.
How To Yarn-Dye
Yarn-Dyeing is an easy-to-do task but notes that the following are the determinants for a perfect result:
- The process is different with the manufacturers before weaving the yarn into fabrics.
- The type of yarn you’re using plays an essential role in the process, as plant-based yarn is challenging to dye, while animal-based yarn is easy to dye.
- There are different dyes with a different processes for a perfect result.
Get the following equipment and follow the steps correctly.
- A container, bowl, or tank (a container but do not use an aluminum container because it will alter the dye).
- A dishwashing glove
- A face mask
- A spoon
- Mordant or Fixative (optional but recommended)
- Dye (based on your preference)
Different Steps on Yarn-Dyeing
The steps include dyeing with natural dye or Kool-Aid and Wilton Food Coloring.
Method 1: Yarn-Dyeing with Natural Dyes
Here is a step-by-step for dyeing with natural dye
Step 1: Prepare the fabric
The fabric should be washed and wet (it has to be soaked for use); this means “Scouring the yarn.” This is done to prevent the dye from not penetrating well into the yarn.
Step 2: Prepare the mordant or fixative
After washing the yarn, mix the water with mordant or fixative (salt or alum powder if you’re using a berry or fruit dye and vinegar for a plant material). This is essential so the yarn can absorb dye better.
Below is the measurement:
For salt, add half (½) cup of salt in eight (8) cups of cold water.
For Vinegar, blend one (1) part white vinegar with four (4) cups of water.
For Alum, dissolve in boiling water eight (8) grams of alum powder and seven (7) grams of cream of tartar (when using 100grams of yarn). Then allow it to cool before using it.
Note that the soaking time depends on the type of yarn you’re using and how intense you want the color shade.
Step 3: Make the dye.
Put aside the yarn and allow it to be mordant while you prepare the dye.
Step 4: Color your yarn
Place the mordant yarn into the prepared dye and allow it to simmer for about an hour or two (1-2 hours).
Step 5: Rinse the yarn
After dyeing, rinse the yarn carefully to remove any remains and hang it to air dry.
Method 2: Yarn-Dyeing with Kool-Aid and the Wilton Food Coloring
Step 1: Prepare the yarn.
This is the first step. Loosen the yarn from the ball and coil it into a large circular loop. Then pick four smaller pieces of string, and tie the yarn loops at different parts. This helps to have an even dye distribution.
Step 2: Soak the Yarn
The yarn should be soaked in cold water using Kool-Aid Dye, but if using Wilton food coloring, the yarn should be soaked in cold water mixed with vinegar for 20 minutes. Using Vinegar mix helps to change the pH (potential hydrogen) of the yarn in order fo it to absorb the dye.
For every 100grams/3.5oz of yarn, use a one-quarter (¼) cup of vinegar with quite a large amount of water to cover the yarn.
Step 3: Prepare the Dye bath.
After soaking the yarn, immerse it in the dye bath and cover it with enough water.
Dye-measurement: for a single ball of yarn, mix about 1-2 sachets of the Kool-Aid dye while you use a stick or toothpick to swirl the Wilton food coloring (depending on how you want your color intensity or until you get the desired color appearance).
For Kool-Aid dye, you can dye your yarn into two colors by placing two shades of the dye on opposite sides. Use colors next to each other on the color wheel for a perfect work result (learn more about the color wheels to get this).
Step 4: Heat the dye bath
Place the container over the heat (using a stove, gas, or crock pot) and heat it until it reaches boiling. Once the dye bath starts boiling, you can stir adequately to have the dye distributed to every part of the yarn (when you over-stir the yarn, felting occurs – the scales on the yarn get entangled and connect irreversibly).
Step 5: Leave it to cool
When the yarn has adequately been dyed, take the container off the heat and allow it to dry at a cool temperature for 20 minutes or more.
Step 6: Rinse and allow to Dry
After it has cooled, rinse the yarn with water (running water is ideal for rinsing), then leave it to dry.
However, for safety, do the following:
- Work in a ventilated environment
- Avoid using the same tools and equipment used to dye for the home
- Ensure to always have gloves and masks on when working
- Properly get rid of the used dyes, fixatives, and mordants.
I love the Do-It-Yourself Yarn-Dyeing as it makes me feel relaxed and creative. You can develop it and become a pro too!
Today, we had a detailed discussion on Yarn-Dyed Fabrics and how you can dye using natural dyes, Kool-Aid, or Wilton food coloring.
Now that Yarn-Dyed fabrics are not accustomed to seasons, why not get started and have fun while you dye those fabrics into your desired patterns and designs?