Thursday, 11 November 2010

Dyeing adventures- alpaca and nylon

I bought some thick sock yarn off the Internet, but as always there is the peril of colour choices. What I thought from the photo was dark grey, undyed and hot pink turned out to be dark green, yellow and reddish pink. I have to say I was not in love with it, and I had 200g!
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My first response to "meh I don't like this colour" is "oh well I can always dye it". The problem here was that this is an alpaca and nylon mix, I had never dyed either of those before, and I had heard alpaca will felt if you look at it crossly.
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Since I really couldn't think of anything to make with the yarn I figured I would give it a go on one ball and see what happened. I skeined both and dunked one in a pot of blue dye.
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Woohoo! No felting and the nylon didn't melt (even though the pot got rather hot and may have boiled a little, I am not sure what the melting point of nylon is). The dyeing was not a total success- the colours are still not quite what I hoped for, but I think they are an improvement. This is most likely due to the high nylon content which is unaffected by the acid dyes, all the fluffy alpaca fibres are now a nice bright blue.
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I still don't know what to make, it is meant to be a sock yarn, so maybe socks, but there are quite a lot of fluffy alpaca fibres sticking out of the yarn, so it may be somewhat tickly.


12 comments:

  1. Argh! I hate all of the "I heard Alpaca..." comments. They are always so negative to Alpaca. I'm glad you experimented and I love the colors you came up with. The only thing I've noticed with dyeing Alpaca is that you have to "cook" it longer to get the dye exhausted but the color I get when finished is unbelievably beautiful.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  2. iT will definately take more than a few "I heards" to put me off alpaca, it is so soft and squishy. And the alpacas themselves are lovely :)

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  3. nice to know the mix of nylon with alpaca dyes well-the colors are great

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  4. The Alpaca blends do great. I've been dyeing Alpaca with various fibers and sometimes you get a slight variation in color intensity but you seem to see it more in roving than you do in the finished yarn.

    Keep experimenting!

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  5. I've been curious about dyeing blended fibers, this is good information.

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  6. Most of my dyeing is with alpaca and I have always found that it takes in color very well and I have never, ever had it felt. And trust me if it is going to happen it will happen to me. Nice dye work.

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  7. I love working with my alpaca. It does great and holds up very nicely. Not sure why most folks are negative to it.

    Love all the colors! I never even though about nylon melting in a dye pot, though I haven't yet tried dying any of my synthetic blends.

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  8. The new color is so very pretty. Thanks for taking the chance and letting us know how it went. Such good info. Happy Fiber Arts Friday!

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  9. You are brave! The risk was certainly worth it!

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