Dyeing Definitions

Dyeing definitions for words you might read on our site.

acid dye - a dye that needs vinegar, lemon juice or citric acid.

bleeding - food color leaching into the rinse water or wash water. Caused when the food color is stuck on the yarn, but not actually chemically bonded to it. Bleeding happens when not enough vinegar is used, or forgotten completely. Also when there is more color in the dyebath than the yarn can bond with.

breaking - (also known as splitting) causing a food dye to break down into component colors. Breaking is a bad thing when you want a solid colored hank. Breaking is good when you want a bunch of hues on a hank using just one jar of color.

Black Wilton original formula - black made with blue1, red3 and yellow5 and yellow6. This formula can be used for breaking black.

Black Wilton new formula - black made with red40 instead of red3. This is the same red as in Kool-Aid.

core yarn - a yarn of one type of fiber wrapped with a coating of another fiber. The inner yarn is often for strength and the outer yarn might be softer, more expensive or multi-colored.

crocking - the color comes off on your hands or needles when the yarn is dry because it hasn't truly bonded to the yarn. Often caused by adding too much vinegar to the dyebath when using red food color. Sometimes seen on blue hanks when too much blue is used for the amount of yarn.

exhaust - when the dyebath is clear. When all the food color has bonded to the fiber.

halo - seen when using a mix of two colors, often red and blue. The red will bond to the surface of the yarn while the blue will bond to the core. Caused by not soaking the yarn long enough, adding acid too fast or using Red3. Halos are often seen in black.

hand-paint - a small amount food color is put directly on the wool yarn. The food color can be spooned, poured or painted with a foam brush.

immersion dyeing - is submerging the wool yarn in a large amount of water with food color and vinegar in the dyebath.

low water immersion - using a small dyebath with a large amount of yarn to produce a mottled color.

padding - using only enough food color- water mixture to saturate the yarn.

protein fiber - hair, fur or fuzz from sheep, yaks, llama, goats, rabbits, dogs and such. Also silk and nylon (synthetic, but still dyeable).

semi-solid - also known as tonal, kettle-dyed, heather. Purposely not dyeing the yarn a solid color. Usually various shades of only one color.

space dye - placing colors at irregular intervals.

stock - dyestock or stock solution. Preparing a solution with a set amount of food dye to water, for instance 3 drops of McCormick red to 8 ounces water. The red stock is then mixed with other color stocks using a recipe, so you end up with the same hue every time.

Here's a video about Kool-Aid dyeing mixed with Wilton and McCormick.

See how Kool-Aid can be mixed together to create over 100 shades.

Americolor Food Color - comes in colors Kool-Aid doesn't.

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