We use the Australian brand Landscape Acid Dyes and the kettle dyeing process to colour our wool. Using a mix of immersion, dip dyeing and steaming to achieve different effects on the yarn/top.
Acid Dyeing may sound scary but the acid part is household vinegar. Vinegar is a mordant that lowers the pH of the water bath and allows the dye to adhere/bond to the fibres, add heat to the equation and the dye on the yarn then becomes colourfast.
First the yarn is soaked in water, usually overnight. This ensures that the dye will penetrate into the core of the strand.
Dye and vinegar are added to the dye bath. Then the yarn is lowered in. Once temperature is reached and all the dye has been absorbed into the yarn (leaving the dye bath exhausted/clear) the yarn is left to cool in the water. Yarn is rinsed, dried and then skeined up ready for a photo shoot, labelling and uploading onto the online shop (or off to market).
Yarn dyed in this method makes each skein different. This is the beauty of hand made. We only do 4 to 6 skeins per pot. It is a slow but contemplative process. Selecting colours. What combination? What order will we layer? Or stripe? Will we speckle? Semi-solid? Tonal? Variegated……
Some colourways are repeatable some are not. Even the repeatable colourways dyed at different times will be unlikely to match. Even from the same pot nothing is identical. For this reason we recommend that you buy enough yarn to complete your project – if, when ordering, you need all skeins to come from the same dye bath please let us know.