Friday, December 7, 2012

Dyeing Wool and Getting Sidetracked

I seem to get sidetracked so easily--my "plan" was to finish up all my UFOs before the end of the year and start fresh for next year...but I had some wool felt that I bought at Joann's Fabrics a long time ago, and it was just a plain off-white color.  Since Procion MX dyes don't work on wool, and I really didn't want to spend a bunch of money on a whole new line of acid dyes, I learned from some on-line research that I could use Wilton icing colors (concentrated gel) and mix with Fruit Fresh (ascorbic acid) and dye wool with it.   I used my Joann's coupon and got the gel colors there, and already had the fruit fresh because I can pears and peaches every summer.

I took two small pieces of the wool felt, and cut shapes like circles and ovals in one which I then dyed with a combination of blues/greens/purples using the icing gel and Fruit Fresh combo.  The other one I left whole and dyed orange.  (If I do this again, I'll leave the pieces whole and dye first, then cut out the shapes--I don't know why I did it the way I did--now I have a bunch of white ovals and circles that I'm going to have to dye to use.)  I mixed the gel in some water, then added the Fruit Fresh and dipped the wool into it--the colors were very bright, and I was surprised at how quickly the wool grabbed the color.

Anyway, it took over 3 days for these to dry, but they were finally dry last night.  So I took my hand needle felter and punched away on this piece, joining them into one piece.  It was slow and tedious, and not very stimulating.  Having an embellishing machine would definitely be better!
I want to do some free motion quilting and other stitching on this piece, I think it will be fun.  If anyone reading this has a felting/embellishing machine, I'd be interested in hearing about them.

So that's my experiment for the week, hope someone will read this and decide to try it for themselves.
And I also finished up my Christmas tree from last week and mailed it to my sister, who received it yesterday.  Linking up with Off-The-Wall Friday today, check out the wonderful projects there! 


  1. I really like to colours and shapes in your felt wool looks great.

  2. The dyed wool looks beautiful! I never knew you could do that. Good to know! Your Christmas tree is beautiful.

  3. okay just for the record - I am NOT going to let you all pull me into wool and felting - OMG - you make it look interesting and fun!! how clever is it to use icing to do the dye process?! Very cool@

  4. What a clever idea! I'm sort of which Nina Marie though - no no no no no! I DON'T need another tempting project to try . .