Dyeing Wool for Birch Trees
Day 1: Preparation
Besides the usual dyeing equipment you will need the following supplies from PRO Chem, www.prochemical.com:
PRO Thick F
Make print paste:
1. Measure ¼ cup 110 degree water from the tap into a 1 cup measuring cup or beaker. I use a candy thermometer to tell when it’s right.
2. Sprinkle one teaspoon of thickener (PRO Chem's PRO Thick F) over the water while stirring constantly. The mixture will be lumpy at first but will smooth out and thicken while it sits.
3. Mix a separate batch of thickener for each color you will be thickening. After the thickener sits, it becomes sticky like rubber cement and is difficult to measure. Mixing a separate amount for each color will allow you to add the dye directly to each cup of thickener.
4. Let stand at least one hour, preferably overnight. The product will be lumpy at first but will smooth out as it sits.
You can store the premixed thickener in an airtight jar for at least six months.
Mix the dye: (I use PRO Chem dyes)
1. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon #672 black in ¼ cup boiling water.
2. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon #560 chestnut in ¼ cup boiling water.
3. Stir until completely dissolved, at least one minute. Set the timer, one minute is longer than you think.
4. Let the dye sit until it cools completely. If you pour hot dye into the thickener it will curdle and will not spread smoothly on the wool.
5. Write yourself a reminder directly on the newspaper: Note the "add A.S." below. After the dye cools, ammonium sulfate and synthrapol must be added. The ammonium sulfate is used as the mordant in place of vinegar. This notation helps to jog my memory that I'm not ready to start mixing and painting until I add the final ingredients. Details for adding additional ingredients are on Day 2: Painting.
The above picture shows the equipment I use for this process.
Use the following tables if you want to adjust the darkness of the dye. The
first table is from the PRO Chem web site, www.prochemical.com. The second is
adjusted for the 1/4 cup measure that we are using for this process.
Wait at least one hour for the thickener to develop. Continue with Day 2: Painting the dye on the wool.
Copyright © 2003 by Cindi Gay. All rights reserved.