How to “Tie Dye” Yarn with Food Coloring


I discovered a fun new way to apply color to yarn last weekend that I couldn’t wait to share.

Tools needed:
Liquid Food coloring in colors of choice. (I used the McCormick’s Neon)
Latex Gloves
Skein of yarn
Wast Yarn
Vinegar
Sink
Wool Wash / Soak
Newspaper
Plastic Wrap
Microwave
Microwave Safe Dish

Step 1
Tie waste yarn in three to five places loosely around skein to avoid tangling soak in warm water with a glug of vinegar for at least 30 minutes

Step 2
Prep your dye space by placing a layer of newspaper to protect your work surface. Then a layer of plastic wrap large enough to accommodate your skein of yarn. (I used superwash merino/nylon sock yarn)
Gather your dye materials and gloves
After thirty minutes, wring out your yarn well (but carefully so it does not felt) and place on work surface.

Step 3
Wearing your gloves, drip food coloring onto yarn in quantity/color combination of your choice. I used all four colors, and quite a bit of food coloring.

Tip: flip yarn over and separate strands to ensure even coverage. Otherwise, you’ll have color on the outside of your skein and white on the inside.

Step 4 (the fun part)
Scrunch your yarn together. Remember, you’ve tied it well, so go crazy. Scrunch and punch. Toss it around like it’s a pizza crust. Knead it like it’s bread dough. The point is to spread and mix the colors.

Keep going until the color is spread pretty evenly

Step 5
Wrap in plastic wrap on the table and place in microwave safe dish*

Microwave for 2-5 minutes, depending on your microwave to set the dye. (Mine was perfect at three minutes).

*This method is only recommended with food safe dyes unless you have a microwave and dish completely dedicated to dyeing with professional grade acid dyes.

Step 6
Remove from microwave and allow to cool completely.
Rinse in your favorite wool wash and allow to dry.

Now you are ready to create away!

This skein is available now in the Tiny Dino Studios Etsy Shop if you just can’t wait!

Continue Reading