Dyeing coloured fleeces

Using natural dyes

All fleeces can be dyed whether they are white or coloured. Natural dyes include onion skins, some leaves, bark and fruit. They take just as well as chemical dyes. It is usually necessary to use mordants, iron, alum or copper sulphate to fix natural dyes.

Some mordants can affect the final colour.

Dyeing coloured fleeces

In most cases dyeing coloured wool gives a softening effect to the end result. Often dyeing will enhance the final colour. A pale grey fleece that is dyed blue will have the blueness enhanced. But dyeing a cream or fawn fleece blue will give it a green tinge. Even dark brown or black fleeces can be dyed to give a colour tinge. So have a go, it’s worth experimenting.

Hair or kemp will not take dye in the same way as fleece, although it can be left to give special effects.