Sunday, January 27, 2008

Dyeing Raw Alpaca

I came across 2 ZipLocks of raw white dirty alpaca and am not sure where it came from. The amount of dirt and VM makes me think that someone gave it to me. Not really sure so I'm just going to call it Celeste 'cause she gets pretty dirty. The alpacas are all different with how much junk they like to wear in their fiber. We don't bed with straw and every morning I sweep up any hay that gets dropped so my fleeces are pretty clean. Well, actually Very clean. But then there is piggy Celeste. She rolls a lot - in spilled hay - in mud puddles - in snow (no, the snow doesn't clean her up). I digress. I came to show you the above fiber.

I soaked this fleece last night in Dawn and the hottest tap water I could get for a couple of hours and gently drained it in the sink with the drain open. Removed it and filled the sink with warm water and a big glug of white vinegar and let it set overnight.
I put it into my crock pot this morning and sort of divided the area into thirds and dotted Jacquard dry powder to produce the three colors you see here. Poured boiling water over and sort of poked a little to get the colors distributed but not running together. Cooked for 30 minutes and let cool on its own. Rinsed a couple of times and spun out in my washing machine.

Now I don't quite know what I'm going to do with it. It's quite lovely just as it is. I could spin it just like that, I could card it, I could sell it. Maybe I'll just leave it on the kitchen counter to admire for a while.....