Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Baby Alpaca - To Dye For

JR with his momma, sweet Sonata, right after his birth last year, September 19, 2008.

I came across the seconds from JR's first shear. If you are interested, seconds are the less desirable fiber from the alpaca. In JR's case, from his neck, chest, and belly. The fiber is usually different lengths and probably has second cuts. JR's fleece will probably never be as soft and fine as this first shear.

I have never tried to dye over a color as dark as this brown so this is another experiment - that went well.
*I washed the fiber in Dawn and the hottest tap water I could get. After letting it soak about 1/2 hour, I drained it, ran another sink full of warm water to rinse and added a big glug of vinegar.
* While I was washing and draining, I heated up about 8 or 10 cups of water in my crock pot and added another big glug of vinegar just before adding the wet fleece.
* I put into the water about 1/2 teaspoon of red Jacquard dye on the left and the same amount of Burnt Orange on the right. Then lowered the wet fleece in. I did a few pokes to settle it down but didn't stir because I wanted the colors to stay separate. They did....

This is about 6 ounces of fleece. I love the colors!


Brenda (Prairie Daisy Handspun) said...

Wow, I can't believe you got so much color with such a dark fiber! Looks great!

Barbara said...

I love this! The colors are so bright, Kendra is intrigued :)

Robin said...

OK Maple how do I get these seconds? how much will they cost?

Zenitude (formerly Wooly Knits n Bits) said...

That's something I will have to try...I never thought you could get so much colour from brown fiber!