Dying Yarn with Food Coloring

I did a thing guys!!!!! I dyed my own yarn :O.....This is something I have been wanting to do and finally took the leap and tried it. It honestly was one of the funnest things I've tried. I highly recommend trying it if you are at all curious! Trying it does not mean you have to end up a full fledged yarn dyer, but how cool is it to make something out of yarn you custom dyed yourself.

I chose to dye my yarn with food safe dyes as I live in a small apartment with VERY limited kitchen space. This meant that I did not have room for new pots, pans and tools to use acid dyes (if you do not go the food safe color route you cannot re-use any of the items you dye with for cooking).

I did a ton of research and there are so many food safe dye options, trust me you will not feel limited in the slightest. I decided to start off with basic gel food coloring and figured if I liked it I would play around with more fun dyes next time (ie. candy,kool-aid ect). I got a pack of 10 Wilton gel food coloring jars on amazon for like $10CAD.

Now where do you find yarn to dye with?!?! I looked around and compared prices and my choice was dyer supplier. I liked that they had sample skein options so I could try out a variety of yarn and then if I liked it go back and buy it in bulk packs of 5. Not gunna lie shipping is a tad pricey but that is the story of my life living in Canada haha. If anyone knows of a good bare yarn supplier in Canada please pass it along! But if you are willing to pay the shipping or happen to live in the US where you can get free shipping on orders over $175US I highly recommend dyer supplier. If you want to give them a shot here is a link to get 20% off your order (full disclosure if you purchase through this link I believe I get a discount off my next order as well!)

OK so on to the yarn! I bought a sample skein of :

80/20 merino nylon fingering
silvery sock (fingering)
BFL dk superwash-*currently sold out
superwash merino dk

Now a little side note cause I had no idea what this meant previously - superwash means it has been treated and can go in the washer ie no need to hand wash!

How I dyed my yarn:

1)I pre-soaked my yarn for ~40 mins in a water/vinegar mixture (4:1ratio)
2)while it was soaking I set up my dye station by laying down a garbage bag to protect my kitchen counter, and placed some plastic wrap down as well.
3)I mixed a couple drops of food coloring with some water in a few different bowls
4)Once my yarn was done soaking I gently squeezed out the excess water (never wring out your yarn!)
5) I then just played around with dipping the yarn in the bowls of dye, sprinkling different colors on with a fork ect. I just had fun with it
6) I then wrapped the yarn up in the plastic wrap and microwaved it on high for 2 mins, let it stand for 2 mins, then microwaved on high again for 2 mins, then let cool completely.
7)I then washed it with some luke warm water and dish soap
8)I hung mine out on my balcony to dry for several hours (otherwise my cat would eat it) then took it inside at night to fully dry.

I recommend checking out ChemKnits on YouTube, she has so many fantastic tutorials!

Now how would I rank the yarns I tried...well:
1st-superwash merino dk
2nd-silvery sock
3rd-80/20 merino nylon fingering (loved this one I just REALLY liked the sparkle of the silvery sock)
4th-bfl dk superwash (I would not order this one again, too 'rustic' for me)

I have actually already placed a larger order with dyer supplier and cannot wait to experiment with more dying. Do I plan on becoming a full fledged dyer...atm no ahah But I will be selling a lot of the yarn I dye next simply because I do not need it lol but I really enjoy dying. So keep an eye out for some one of a kind KGC orignal hand-dyed yarn coming soon to Etsy! I have so many 'themes' floating around in my head :)

I hope this was helpful or at least interesting! Let me know if you give dying a go!


1 comment

  1. Since the chemical soaps are the norm, people feel as though there is nothing that can be done to avoid the problems. However, there are some more natural alternatives. dish soap


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