How to Choose a
Base Yarn to Dye

Base yarn comes in three types: 100% wool, wool blends and superwash.

Each will give you a different effect.

100% wool can be dyed very saturated. It also allows a very uniformly dyed skein.

Wool blends usually produce pastel hues (the exception being if the only other fiber is animal fur or nylon). The less wool, the lighter the color.

Superwash is wool that has been altered to prevent shrinkage during washing. A side effect is the the dye strikes very fast. Which creates some cool special effects, but you may tear your hair out trying to get a solid color.

A bit of an analogy, have you ever tried to make whipped cream out of light cream?

In a kitchen with a wood burning fireplace, using a whisk made of straw?

I tried. After two hours we still had a froth, it never made whipped cream.

Just a friendly piece of advice. If you want a hank with even color, use 100% wool (not a blend with 50% acrylic, and not superwash).

If you want a pastel hank, and want to save money then use a blend.

If you want a wild dye job, that's one of a kind, grab some superwash!

White and off-white base yarn:

From left to right (same for both rows)
Full o' Sheep, Sheep(ish), Alpine Wool, Serenity, Souvenirs, Alpaca Natural Blends, Washable Ewe

Colored base yarn:

A great part of the fun of dyeing is serendipity. But if you have a result in mind, you'll be much happier if you choose the correct yarn.


How do I know if my yarn is Wool? Easy tests to find out.

Great Purple Formulas. Made from Kool-Aid, Wilton, McCormick's and more.

Is your yarn a blend with nylon? Find out about dyeing nylon.

Go from Base Yarn to Dye Your Yarn Home Page


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