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Bumpkin Bears Bumpkin Bears
Antwerp, Belgium
Posts: 2,190

Hi,

I was wondering if any of you have tried to dye the wool felt for paw pads?  I'd like to get some old muted shades.  I have used tea before but was wondering what else I can use for different colours? 

I'd also like to try dying some mohair and love the effects some of you have achieved with kool aid.  However I am not wanting such strong colours, was thinking of the same colours but then toned down for a more aged look? I do not get kool aid here, any other suggestions of what I could use to dye?

Thanks for any tips,
Catherine
xx

vkallum Humble-Crumble Collectors Bears
Essex, England
Posts: 334
Website

Hi Catherine

Have you tried using Fruit Herbal Teas?  You need quite alot of tea bags, but they dye ivory pretty soft shades of pink, and the tea bit takes of the "baby pink" look.  I've tried lots of little pieces in a small bowl with very strong tea - they took really well.  I've only made one bear from the herbal tea dyed mohair -  I didn't make the tea strong enough at first so I ended up throwing the lot in and in the end she came out with just a hint of colour which was what I wanted.  It was a big bear though, so I needed quite a lot of water to cover the fabric.  I think it takes a bit of trial and error.    It seems to take better to the backing, and just tints the mohair.  I think it gives the fur a rather nice faded look.  Twinnings do a good range and they smell fantastic.

kimboycethomas Posts: 25

I add salt to the RIT dyes to tone the color down a bit.  Not sure if it works on Kool-aid or not?  Kim T

Bumpkin Bears Bumpkin Bears
Antwerp, Belgium
Posts: 2,190

Thanks Vicky - I had tried herbal/fruit teas but don't think I'd used enough tea bags, I'll have to give it another go - I do enjoy hand dying bear_original  Did you use boiling water, did you have to heat it with the mohair or just leave it in a bowl to soak in? 

I've never used RIT dyes, I'll have to have a look out for them.  I'd love to be able to make a soft blue.

Thanks
Catherine
x

Jare Hares & Bears Jare Hares & Bears
Polo, IL
Posts: 983

We (and when I say we, I mean mom) dye using rit dye all the time. Just to be technical RIT dye is not a true dye it is a colourant.
But we usually get the colours we want with RIT and don't have all the hassle.
We heat the water.
Add the dye.
Rinse fabric to get rid of sizing. That helps the fabric accept the colour.
Depending on the effect that we want we leave the fabric sit and soak or pull it out right away.
Then it might be coffee stained or tea stained...
Just depends.
I say experiment. You never know what you can find.
I would also check out the primitive patterns on eBay well worth the money spent those gals will give you tons of information in their patterns on dying and staining. That will give your bears that aged look if that is what you are going for.
Adding a bit of black Rit to any other RIT color darkens the colour. It can give you a richer deeper color, but remember only a little bit.
Again I say

EXPERIMENT!

I would suggest keeping a binder full of loose leaf paper and a pen or pencil handy where you are dying fabric so you can make notes as you go. That way if you need to re-create a colour you will have some idea of where you need to start to get the same colour. But don't be dissappointed if you don't get the exact same colour. Many things can effect the outcome.

List the dye using and the amount
The time the fabric sits in the dye bath
etc., etc., etc.
Well you get the idea.

Bumpkin Bears Bumpkin Bears
Antwerp, Belgium
Posts: 2,190

Thanks Jared bear_original  I don't think we have RIT dyes in Europe.  I'll have a look at the weekend to see what I can find, I'm sure there are others I could try.  Do you find it works well for the wool felt too?  Is it best to start with white/ivory mohair?  I always like experimenting so thanks for the info bear_original

Jare Hares & Bears Jare Hares & Bears
Polo, IL
Posts: 983

Well most of the time we just use coffee on the wool felt, but I don't see why Rit wouldn't work.

toadbriar ToadBriar
western massachusetts
Posts: 532

I think whatever works on mohair (the actual hair) will work the same on 100% wool felt.

I've had good luck with food coloring in water, with vinegar added. you can make it as strong
or as weak as you like, by varying the number of drops of coloring & how long you leave the
fiber in the dye.

After all it's only food coloring + citric acid that works in the koolaid, right?

Dilu Posts: 8,574

I dye my wool felt, but I am not going for muted tones....but sacrivice a strip of felt and give it a go...Jared said to experiment....its fun.....coffee and tea mix are fun, never tried rit but have heard great things about it....

.....I usually use koolade....nothing muted thee....have fun!

gollyhugs
dilu

millie PottersHouse Bears
Ohio
Posts: 2,173

I have dyed mohair and wool felt with almost anything you can imagine, flowers, tea, coffee, rit dye and other brands, kool aid, beets ...... you get the idea.  I usually just throw the felt in the same pan with the mohair.  If you want a more muted color you can dilute the dye more.  I also add tea or coffee sometimes to get a more "antiqued" look.

Jare Hares & Bears Jare Hares & Bears
Polo, IL
Posts: 983
Dilu wrote:

I dye my wool felt, but I am not going for muted tones....but sacrivice a strip of felt and give it a go...Jared said to experiment....its fun.....coffee and tea mix are fun, never tried rit but have heard great things about it....

.....I usually use koolade....nothing muted thee....have fun!

gollyhugs
dilu

Sure nothing is muted...
But that is why we love you, Dilu!!!! :hug:

Jare Hares & Bears Jare Hares & Bears
Polo, IL
Posts: 983

How do you want to mute the colour? Do you want it to be lighter? Or darker?
Usually when I say mute the colour I mean to make it a bit darker.
That means adding a bit o' black to the dye bath.
To make it light do one of two things...
1. Don't leave it in the dye bath as long
2. Don't make the dye bath to full strength

Bumpkin Bears Bumpkin Bears
Antwerp, Belgium
Posts: 2,190

I was thinking lighter/softer colours Jared.  Just went to the local food store all excited to get some food colours to experiment with and they don't have them - I asked my fiancee and he'd never heard of that in Belgium  :crackup:  Always so frustrating not being able to find things you normally would in the UK.  Oh well, I'll have a look for other dyes at the weekend and play with natural/tea/coffee dyes - thanks to you all for your ideas :)

Catherine
x

toadbriar ToadBriar
western massachusetts
Posts: 532

do you color easter eggs in belgium? the egg dyes work.
what colorants would you use for making different colors of frosting
on cookies & cakes?

DENBY30 DENBY BEARS
EDISON, NEW JERSEY
Posts: 1,586

bear_wub Onion skins are also a form of dye, i have used on easter eggs, the same effect as coffee and tea, I have not tried it myself but i think it could work.

karenaus Melbourne
Posts: 694
Website

Intercal has a great range of dyes, with lots and lots of pretty colours that dont have to be vibrant- I think the listing is on the supply page. Theres even a colour chart there.
   Karen

Lisa q.D.paToOtieS
Near Fredericksburg, VA
Posts: 1,349

I just scanned this quickly so if someone else has said this sorry!  If you purchase brightly colored wool felt and then boil it (just for a couple minutes not like until it's soup or anything), it will lighten the color and "age" it making it look vintage.  Anyway, I've done this a gazillion times and it always gives the "muted" effect that you mentioned.

Hope this helps...

nimbleknot Cupcake Bears
Austin, Texas
Posts: 711
Website
toadbriar wrote:

the egg dyes work.

fantastic idea!

svgartistbears Posts: 62

Hello , If you wish to purchase rit dye then Ebay is a great place to pick up Fabric and fibre dye bargains,

www.ritdye.com

-  Is a great website to help for dyes available and a color chart to show you mixing of hues,      instructions  etc.

I use Rit powdered dyes and the hot water method - Jareds instructions were super, and youre right dilution of strength with wtering down will give you clear and long lasting pastel and deeper shades depending what you want, most natural fibres and fabrics dye  well using rit dyes.
:hug:  :hug:  good luck

Lisa q.D.paToOtieS
Near Fredericksburg, VA
Posts: 1,349

Yes, I also have used Kool-Aid and the Egg Dyes.  Egg Dyes I use a zip lock bag, put some white vinegar in and then the amount of drops to suit my tastes as for the "strength" of the color.  Cut out your paw pads first and then put them in the bag with the vinegar/egg color combination and let them sit for a while.  If you're using a red dye, you're going to need a lot because in my experience it doesn't take as well as the blue, green or yellow.  The blue and green will soak directly into your felt and you'll end up with clear vinegar again (weird but cool). Then just rinse it out very well in the sink.  It takes some experimentation but is fun.

I still think it's easier to just boil a stronger color wool felt to get your muted version.  And I forgot to add that after you do the "boil" method, if you don't want your paw pad to have that aged, slightly wrinkled look, just use your steam iron on it and it will look like normal felt again but "muted."


Hugs,
Lisa

Summer5 Pawssibles
Loon Lake, Saskatchewan
Posts: 571

Just a note on the dying of mohair, wool and any natural fibre.  Like the others have said, tea or coffee will tone down a color.  Also a little black dye with any color with tone down or deepen your color. ie. A pinch of black dye powder will convert a bright yellow to more of a gold.  I always mix more than one color together to get more original colors, than tone it down with tea or coffee.

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