Rainbow dyeing, tie-dyeing, sprinkle dyeing, casserole
dyeing; all names for the same process of getting many different colors
onto one set of fiber. The recipe below uses Lanaset Dyes, and will
work on unspun fiber, yarn (on skeins or wound into warps), or cloth
(in lengths or made into clothing). All that matters is that the fiber
content be animal based - silk, wool, alpaca, camel, angora.
Soak fiber to be dyed in a vinegar water bath with a pH of 4.5 to 5.0.
It will take about a tablespoon of vinegar per quart of water, but since
the acidity of water varies, check with pH paper and adjust if necessary.
For a medium shade, mix ¼ teaspoon of dye in ½ cup of
water. Use more dye for darker shades, less for lighter. Mix as many
colors as you want.
Remove fiber from vinegar soak and gently squeeze out excess water.
Lay it in a non-reactive baking pan (enamel-ware, glass or stainless
steel are good - aluminum, copper or steel are not). Arrange the fiber
as you like; fold, tie, twist, spiral and/or zig-zag - whatever pleases.
Apply the dye with a squeeze bottle, a syringe or just by pouring it
on the area you choose. Remove excess from the pan with a syringe.
Carefully place pan in a cold oven. Slowly heat to 190°, and hold
there for 60 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave pan inside to cool
Rinse out excess dye, and wash with a mild soap. Rinse again well, and
hang to dry.