Dyeing yarn part 1: Getting started with acid dyeing


This is a series of 3 parts, the second part can be read here: Dyeing yarn part 2: The full process of dyeing with acid dye and the third here: Dyeing yarn part 3: The results of dyeing with acid dye

Finally the day had arrived - the great yarn dyeing day! Our first big goal is to find/develop GOTS labeled embroidery yarn in every single color on the planet. As a first step, we wanted to test to dye embroidery yarn ourselves.

Everything seems to slow down in the Corona crisis, and things doesn't go as planned. Therefore, we had to just pick a date and have a remote session. Preferably, we would meet in Stockholm or Gothenburg and do it together. An advantage with doing it separately was that we could test different dyes and yarns. The drawbacks are obvious - you have no one to blame when everything goes wrong!

I/Sofia tested dye from Färgkraft which is a GOTS label acid dye. I bought the GOTS starting kit containing blue, yellow and red as well as sodium sulfate. I needed to add 24% vineager and water.

Eva tested a range of different colors of "cold dye"/kallfärg from Zenit Konsthantverk and also bought giant can of 4 litres of cold base. More about cold dyeing in another blog post in this series.

What equipment I used for acid dyeing:

  • Starting kit with dye and sodium sulfate
  • Vineager
  • Water
  • Glass cans (I bought 1 from Färgkraft and 3 from second hand)
  • Pot (I bought a "new" from second hand - not sure if I wanted to use our household equipment for dyeing? Seemed unhealthy)
  • Glass stick (I felt so professional!)
  • One milliliter measures
  • Kitchen scales (not accurate enough)
  • Detergent for wool


What I wished I used:

  • Thermometer
  • Accurate scale, 0.1 gram

I bought 50 grams of an undyed, GOTS labelled yarn that we enjoy using in our embroideries, and 50 grams of a wool/nettle mix. As I started cutting pieces of 5 meters of the yarns, I checked my yarn stash and found leftovers of the GOTS labelled yarn in 3 more colors from an old crochet project. Perfect! In summary I now had 5 different yarns, two white, one salmon, one gray and one sea green. In total about 250 grams of yarn that I cut into 5 meter pieces.


Be sure to read our next blog post in this series