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Little Nan Posts: 233

I'm just about to have my first go at dyeing some mohair using Rit dye and was wondering if anyone knows whether to follow instructions enclosed with the dye , or are there things I should know about that perhaps aren't mentioned ? Any tips gratefully received as I'm a bit nervy looking at my lovely mohair !!
Nan   bear_flower

desertmountainbear desertmountainbear
Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 5,399
Website

Hi Nan,
I dye most of my fur with Rit, and I usually have pretty good success.  Here is what I have learned. 
I have better luck dyeing the bear cut in pieces rather than the whole bear.  I always put some extra pieces in just in case I mess up.  It seems to save on mohair too.
Make sure your dye is completely mixed before putting in your fabric.  Becky told me to mix the dye in a little water first to make sure it dissolves, and then add the rest of the water.  That has helped me a lot.
I never let the fabric come to a boil, I put it on low and let it simmer there for a while.  I have found that I have better success rinsing the fabric clear if I let the dye have time to really settle in the fabric.  I used to use less time and more dye, and I always had a tough time getting the water to run clear.  Now I use more time and less dye and am happier.  If it is not dark enough I redye.
Make sure your fabric is good and wet before adding it to the dye bath.  I soak mine in a sink of water with just a couple of drops of dish soap added,  I don't rinse before adding it to the pot.
And last but not least.  I have also found that dyeing does dry the mohair out a little, just like hair color does to human hair, so when rinsing I add a little bit of conditioner, and then rinse it good, it leaves it very soft and silky.

Little Nan Posts: 233

Ah Joanne , brilliantly clear advice , thank you ! Yes I was wondering about the condition of the mohair as being an ex hairdresser I was tempted to try a little conditioner as it makes sense ! Also i wondered about the backing shrinking because of the temperature of the water ? Mind you enough people do it so it must be ok! Just got to wait for postman to bring it now ...
Thanks again Joanne
Nan  bear_wub

desertmountainbear desertmountainbear
Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 5,399
Website

It will shrink a little, but not even enough that I need to change disk sizes when jointing.

ps, I am also a former hairdresser, and I have used hair color to dye mohair, and it works well.  And as you probably already know it dyes fabric really well too.  bear_rolleyes

Little Nan Posts: 233

I really never thought of hair colour !! That's certainly an idea...  I don't know the possibilities in bear making are mind blowing aren't they ! A strawberry blonde bear ha ha !!   bear_grin    bear_wub

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