Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Final Sock Club Mailing

We are gearing up to mail the final installment of Wool2Dye4's White Sock Sampler Club. This time I am finally getting it right and sending along an original pattern written for a specific colorway. This month's mailing will be the tencel/merino 50/50 blend of tencel with our springy superwash merino. The colorway is called Dogwood in Blossom. And, our talented friend, Emily Miller, will create a pattern especially for this yarn in this colorway.

See the theme? It's about wood this time. Yes, tencel is actually a byproduct of the timber industry. It's made from a slurry of wood chips, simmering along and extruded through tiny holes in piping, then the fibers are caught by big fans and bundled up to be spun into yarn. This yarn is blended in a 50/50 ratio with superwash merino, giving us a unique blend of a cellulose fiber (the tencel) with a protein fiber (the wool).

Whenever we have such a blend, we know that there will be some dropping out of dyes in the rinse. As acid dyes are positioned to dye protein fibers, and fiber reactive dyes will dye cellulose fibers, some fiber will obviously not take color in the dyebath. This is especially true if you use a very strong dye bath; but, if you use a moderate amount of dye, you will achieve a subtle and lovely blending of tones. I think that is one of the very special things about dyeing the W2D4 Tencel/Merino blend, the subtle colorations. Too, tencel has a lovely sheen, very much like silk.

Here is a picture of Dogwood in Blossom...


Merna said...

Acid or Fiber Reactive -- what kind of dyes do you use on this blend, Sheila?

Sheila Wool2Dye4 said...

Hi, Merna.
I use acid dyes on the blends. I do not like the way that fiber reactive dyes affect wool and impart a dullness to the fibers. Actually, I gifted my collection of fiber reactive dyes to a quilting artist who dyes all his own cotton quilting fabrics.
For me, the acid dyes used in blends give a clearer, cleaner color in the end. I know, I know that some folks will use fiber reactive dyes for both cellulose and protein fibers, but I do not agree with this choice. Some say, 'Why go to the expense of buying both types of dye?' The answer to me is obvious: the results!

June said...

This color is just gorgeous, Shelia!

Sheila Wool2Dye4 said...

A couple of folks wrote to ask what color that blue is, and here is the mix: 1/2 tsp each of Brilliant Blue and Seabreeze (Pro Chem colors) in 1 cup of very hot water. Used 1 tbsp of dye mix, diluted in 4 cups warm water to create the dye bath.