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doodlebears Doodlebears
Posts: 7,414

doodlebears Celebration Ambassador

I have some three inch long mohair that I fell in love with at a show a year ago, bought a metre of it and now it's been sitting around ever since. The fur is white with a sky blue tip of about one inch. I can't get inspired at all with this fur and want to know if and how I can dye it seeing as the is such a contrast form white to blue. I would ideally like to dye some black some brown and also have some which. I think the white will be out but maybe one of you clever girls or boys will know a way. Thanks.


jenny Three O'clock Bears
warwickshire uk
Posts: 4,413

I'd just do a test piece...but my experience of dying things is mostly only hair (human) and if something were blue to start with you'd need to neutralise that colour first, with an orangey colour. So I reckon you'd be fine with brown as long as it's a warm brown...but the is notorious for going navy blue on white....I'd do it reddish brown first then do a piece black ie double dye the black.

I dyed some black once and it did work when I dyed it red/brown first. You'll find the blue will go mahogany when you dye the white part brown...could be very nice...

I think Rainbow dyes are very good....Woodlands Teddies I think sell them...


doodlebears Doodlebears
Posts: 7,414

doodlebears Celebration Ambassador

Thanks Jenny, I'll give that a try.


NancyAndFriends Posts: 1,153

Jane, I am an authority on what NOT to do to  mohair.

I bought some white 3 inch mohair, so I could dye it the different shades I wanted for yorkies.

Here is what happened to one batch.
I wanted to dye it the golden tan for one of my yorkies.
I mixed my dye and salt mixture, 'pot' was too small for the amount of pile in the fabric.

I didn't realize it until I started to emerse the fabric.  What happened was, the part that I emersed first (being the center of the fabric OF COURSE ) was darker than the rest because I could not get the outer bands in the mixture as quickly.

So I decided to try Rit Dye color remover.  Phew does that stuff stink...I should have known right then, that this was going to turn out to be a disaster...but no, I had to try it.  The fabric immediately (and I do mean immediately)... turned this bright shade of green.

Horrified, I decided there was only one thing left to do and that was to put it back into the stink pot, to try to remove the green.

Do I have your attention yet?

It turned it into a big pile of goo!!
Yep, I took 1/2 yard (154.00) of fabric and turned it into light green goo!!

I hope this keeps you from making the same mistake that I did. 
Besure to have a dye pot that is large enough to accept the whole piece of fabric at one time.
I thought my pot was large enough, but where I got into trouble was the thickness of the pile.  That three inch fur made it much larger.

I have taken some fabrics that I purchased and didn't like the color, once they arrived and I was able to see them in person...and dyed them with some wonderful effects.

I purchased a dusty rose color to use in a panda bear, but it was a darker shade than I wanted, so I dyed it with a light brown color and it is truly beautiful.
I am all for taking fabrics and getting different looks.

I have to say, that the dye I purchased from Intercal, is the best I have used.  The black is far superior to the black that Rit has.

these are just my experiences, hope they help.

Dilu Posts: 8,574

I dye mohair all the time.  Cushings is very good but also strong. 

You might consider the following:

It may take much less time in the dye to get the shade you want than the instructions indicates.

I use coffee and tea for some shades of brown and that works really well, yes on mohair and on cotton.....any fabric organic. 

I usually cut my pattern pieces out first so there is much less fabric being dyed in the pot- also it usallly helps to get your fabirc wet first- it seems, to me, to disperse the dye more evenly.

The other thing, and I am sure you already thought of this, when you dye pre dyed fabric you have to take into account the color you already have and how it will blend or mix with dye.

Nancy; you had me on the floor with your cautionary tale of green goo....Oh what a mess and what a loss too....I am so sorry. ouch to the pocketbook. :(

Good luck!


kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Posts: 5,645

ewww green goo... I bet that stank like wet dog ... LOL 

You gals are so descriptive with your words, I can actually see your trial and error happing in my head bear_original

Donna Donna's Duin Bruins
Burbank, CA
Posts: 900

You will get a deeper better coverage if the fabric is wet before putting into the dye bath.  I usually trace the bear out onto the fabric and then cut just that piece of fabric so there is not so much waste.  I have been know to dye a piece let it dry and then put it back into the same dye bath again.  There was a time period when I was having a fun time with dying tipped mohair.  I was trying to get some weird colors and was very successful!  I think I would start with a tan and see what happens then move onto the brown.  One of the things that I am very bad about doing is keeping notes on how long it was in the dye bath etc.  If you have access to the better dyes they will give you better results than rit.  I would start with like a fat quarter and just play.

psichick78 Flying Fur Studios
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,073

I would also like to add a question if I may to you die experts.
Doesn't it change the look of the mohair?? I like to buy curly mohair, and I've tried to wash a few test pieces and I find the curls come out, and the whole look changes. Am i doing something wrong? Or do you guys like that look?
I would love to dye my own colors, but I'm scared of not liking the mohair after.

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 21,803

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

YES, very definitely, washing/drying mohair will change the look of it.  You know what string mohair looks like, right?  That look is before it gets "processed".  Well, washing and drying is a form of processing the fur and will certainly affect it's look.  Heat, I think, more than anything is what changes the finish of the fur, so if you want to retain the original finish, you probably should look into some cold water dyes.

NancyAndFriends Posts: 1,153

Ok, girls...I tried cutting the pieces out first too...but what happened to me, was...with each piece that I put in, it would absorb a certain amount of the dye.  Then each piece after that first one, would come out just a little lighter each time.  So what do you do?  Keep adding a few granules of dye before dying the next piece?


SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 21,803

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Put all your pieces in the dye bath at the same time rather than one at a time.  The first piece in DOES absorb more dye than anything that is added in later.  Also, my experience with hot water dyeing is that if I cut out and just dye the pieces, the fur will shrink some - so that your bear isn't as large as you thought it would be.  Which, I guess, isn't a huge problem, but I now just dye a piece of the fur, then trace and cut out the pieces when it's dry.

Marion Acid Attic Bears
Posts: 2,284

Just wanted to add a little something : I often sew the pieces and turn them on the right side before putting them in dye : I think it doesn't shrink like that and it's a good way to have the fur darker than the back fabric :).

WildThyme Wild Thyme Originals
Hudson, Ohio
Posts: 3,115

Nancy... I did just as you did one time with the Rit color remover and wond up with skiny goo too!!!! So, that stuff wouldn't be high on my recomendation list either!  Rit dye is fun to experiment with, especially since it's so readily available at the grocery or drug store..., but I bet that the Cushings dyes probably offer more uniform results.  I'd love to try them sometime.

Kim Basta
Wild Thyme Originals

NancyAndFriends Posts: 1,153

Kim, the Cushing dyes are great.  I just some fur that I had that was curly....wait, let me back up a minute.
I didn't like the curly mohair because the 'swirls' were always in the wrong I washed it and lo and behold the swirls left.  I use the term curly, very loosely, there were these 'swirls', like little whirl pools in the fur.  So after I washed it I decided to dye it.  I used Cushing dye and dyed one end pink and one end green (panda in mind) and as usual...for came out uneven!
But, I have to say that I really like the cushing for a couple of reasons.  The colors are very true.  My experience with Rit has been, if you don't put exactly the correct amount of dye in the get these awful colors....where as, with the Cushings... if you just put a couple of sprinkles in the bath, you get a very like shade but it is true to the color.
Also, the Cushing does not change the backing color very much...if you want to change that, then Rit is the does.


Dilu Posts: 8,574

Koolade will change the backing as well, but usually slightly lighter.....

Nancy do you start with pre wet fabric before you give the rit a try?

I am trying to figure out why you would have uneven results....


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