How to care for naturally dyed yarn

Care of hand-dyed yarn is not the same as that of commercial yarns. It is necessary to know how to wash your garments knit with hand-dyed yarn or with naturally dyed yarn properly, so they will last a long time maintaining their original appearance.

Dyeing is a chemical process. This means that variants such as the PH of the water and its minerals, of the materials used for dyeing, the chosen base, etc. are involved. That is why it is possible for two dyers to obtain completely different colors even if they follow exactly the same dyeing process. And it is something that we must also consider when caring for wool at home.

How to wash your finished projects knit with hand-dyed yarns

Fill the sink or bucket with water at room temperature, and immerse the garment in it. Personally, I do not like to use wool soaps nor use them when rinsing our skeins, as they may contain additives that make the PH change (and therefore, the colors change). In addition, they can cause sensitivity in some people and that is why I prefer to avoid them. If you feel you need to use soap, a couple of drops of conventional dishwasher will be enought.

Let the garment soak well for about 30-45 minutes, then rinse with water at room temperature and press out as much excess water as you can. Roll your garment in a towel and stomp on it.

After giving the desired shape to your project, let dry in the shade, never directly in the sun.

There is color in the wash water, is this normal?

Yes, it is normal for all types of yarn, even commercial ones. When you see some color in the wash water, it is not because it fades, it is usually an excess of dye.

Keep in mind that a yarn may release more color during washing depending on the temperature of the water, the composition and PH of it, or the soap that you used for washing.

It is important to always knit a sample before starting a project that requires combining light and dark (or very different) colors, such as stripes or fair isle. Wash the sample to see how the colors behave with each other.

I'm knitting and wool stains my hands

This is called crocking in the world of dyeing. Unfortunately, there is no way to know if this can happen to you, since it happens due to the PH of each person's skin. That this happens to you with a yarn does not mean that it will fade when you wash it. There are a couple of colors that are more prone to crocking: very dark blues (Indigo) and intense purples (Palo campeche). Luckily, these stains on the hands disappear easily with soap and water.

If you have problems with a skein, contact me. And no, using vinegar does not fix the colors ;)