In the past I’ve used tea & Coffee to dye clothes. I’ve been meaning to try turmeric as a dye for aaaages. Then this week when I was “playing” with some yarn for an upcoming project (which btw worked out really well and I think you’re gonna love!!) I figured I might as well use the turmeric on some yarn instead to guage the process and see if I liked it before committing it to a garment. Well, I like it alot! What’s more it’s so easy to do. If you have some plain yarn at home that is in need of a little more zing….this could be just the ticket!
I used Pegasus Cotton Dishcloth Yarn (I love this stuff. Around £2 a ball and widely available on Ebay and Amazon) Ground Turmeric and White Vinegar
Start by winding your yarn into a skein. I wound it between two door handles across a hallway. You can use the back of a chair, or wind it in the same way you might a power cord around your elbow and thumb. Now this bit is IMPORTANT. Whatever you do, don’t tie your skein exactly as I have. I missed one important element and had a nightmare balling the yarn later as a result! See the multiple loops at either end of the skein? You need to tie through both of those to keep them from tangling in the dyeing process and around your loop at intervals. Like this!
In a stainless steel pan make a paste from 3 Tbsp of Turmeric and 2 Tbsp of White Vinegar….
Add 3 pints of water, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30 mins to dissolve all the turmeric powder…
Thoroughly wet your skein and place into the dye liquid. I wanted an ombre effect so only placed one end of my skein in the dye liquid. Place the whole thing in if not. Gently simmer for about 10 minutes then turn off the heat and allow to sit in the cooling dye liquid for approx 30 mins. Agitate gently and periodically during this phase. Worth noting that I am dyeing 100% cotton yarn. The temperatures that cotton can withstand will be higher than wool yarn which can felt if the liquid is too hot and the yarn is agitated too much. If it were wool I would personally skip the simmering stage and minimise the agitation of the yarn whilst wet.
After 30 mins remove the skein from the dye liquid rinse in clean water thoroughly until water runs clear, then hang to dry. (There’s another one I dyed using a different process. Details soon!) Mine took a couple of days to dry completely…
This is what you’ll end up with. It will dry much lighter. See those currly loops at the ends that I forgot to tie?! I cannot tell you how much of a mare I had untangling those!
Ball up your skein and admire the rich graduated tones of your new “zingy” yarn!
Thought you’d like to see how it knits up…
Seriously loving these tones!