HAVE FUN WITH TIE DYE DIY!
Make up your dyes first using your chosen plant material, like beetroot for red, woad for blue and madder for orange-red (plants are available from Kahikatea Farm). To prepare yarn, unravel the ball and wrap the yarn around the back of a chair. Tie with white string in a couple of places. When dyeing wool yarn you need acid for the dye to bond. Usually alum and cream of tartar is used, but you can also use white vinegar. Soak the yarn in the acid bath for at least 1 hour before dyeing. Full a tub or sink with cool water and add ¼ cup vinegar per 450g yarn. After soaking, remove yarn from tub and squeeze out excess water. Do not wring. Loosely tie the yarn together in a round, as shown, if you want to dye in equal portions. Paint dye onto the yarn in generous amounts. You want to ensure you add enough dye to saturate all the yarn without over-saturating it. You can turn the yarn over if necessary. Wearing plastic gloves, press down to ensure the dye sinks into the middle. Rinse gloves between each colour. Place the yarn in a Pyrex casserole dish and cover with the lid. Place the casserole dish in the microwave and heat on normal setting for 2 minutes. Allow to sit for 2 minutes, then heat again for another 2 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes, then heat for a final 2 more minutes. The dish will be hot, so use oven mitts to remove it from the microwave. Leave the yarn untouched until it cools down. When completely cool, remove the yarn from the dish and rinse in lukewarm water. As vinegar leaves a scent, fill a sink with lukewarm water and a few drops of dish detergent or baby shampoo and leave your yarn to soak for a bit, swirling it about occasionally. This will get rid of any vinegar smell. Rinse again in lukewarm water until the suds disappear, squeeze out excess water, then hang to dry – it can take 2-4 days to dry, depending on the weather. Your yarn is then ready to use.