Dyeing can be a fun and simple way to experiment and can give your projects your own special
touch. Whether dyeing fibre, yarn or fabric, it is really important to remember that you are
working with chemicals that can be hazardous to your health. A few simple precautions will
keep you safe and healthy (even Kool-Aid dyes are a chemical).
Do not use the same pots or utensils for dyes that you cook with. Try not to do your dyeing
in the kitchen. I use an electric hot plate and do my dyeing outdoors when weather permits,
otherwise, in the basement.
If you are using hot liquids, use standard precautions, as you would when you are cooking
foods. Burns can be quite nasty.
Always Wear rubber gloves. Although many dyes on the market state that they have no demonstrated
health risk, it is better to be safe. Skin is porous and harmful chemicals can be absorbed into your body through your skin. Dyes on the hands are also unattractive.
Dye powders can be irritating to your lungs. Wear a mask. Powder dyes can also travel
through the air quite well, making marks on your ceiling, clothing, carpets, etc.
If you don’t have a mask, you can make your own. Here’s how:
How to Sew a Face Mask
During one of our recent Chat sessions, Sandra told us about the Dye Box that she made. She
used a large cardboard box and cut a flap into it. The dyes are mixed inside the box, reducing
the amount of dye that can escape and travel airborne to undesirable locations. Great idea,
After viewing this article, Roberta Miglin sent in this additional tip. Thanks, Roberta!
Another safe guard for the dye box is to wet the inside of the box so when the dye starts
to fly it will stick to the box. You can do this with a mister and lightly mist the inside.
Hope this helps someone stay safe.
Books – Dyes and Colour
Color by Accident: Low-Water Immersion Dyeing
The Yarn Lover’s Guide to Hand Dyeing: Beautiful Color and Simple Knits
Yarns to Dye For
Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece: Custom-Color Your Favorite Fibers with Dip-Dyeing, Hand-Painting, Tie-Dyeing, and Other Creative Techniques
Yarn Works: How to Spin, Dye, and Knit Your Own Yarn
Tie-Dye: Dye It, Wear It, Share It
Prepared to Dye: Dyeing Techniques for Fiber Artists
Last Updated on March 21, 2021 by Paivi Suomi