People have been asking me recently if I share my dye formulas. Well, yes and no. If I can I will. I use a lot of different dye manuals, some under copyright. Those formulas I cannot share.
I can tell you I use both Majic Carpet and ProChem dyes. For Majic Carpet dyes I first used Barbie Baker-Dykens’ dye manuals. Then I acquired Susan Logue’s dye books. Then I used Christine Little’s spot dye books. I found out about Ingrid Hieronimus’s “Primary Fusion”, and am using it off and on. Then I found Gene Shepherd’s “Prepared to Dye”. Finally, I discovered Lucy Richards’ “Wooly Mason Jar” dye system. I think it’s fair to say I have a bit of experience in this area.
Let me first say each dye system or approach has its strengths. I liked Barbie Baker-Dyken’s manuals for familiarizing myself with colour, how it works, and Majic Carpet dyes. She has a great manual, “Formation of New Formulae”, full of formulas for gradation dyeing at home. Gradation dyeing is when you dye swatches the same size different shades of the same colour. She also put out a”Basic Workbook”, “Basic Dyeing Techniques “, and “Basic Colour Theory”.
Susan Logue’s and Christine Little’s dye books are great for spot dye formulas. They also give instructions on dyeing larger pieces of wool. They use Majic Carpet dyes. Susan Logue’s books are “Past & Present Antique Colours & Spots – Book 1 & 2”. Christine Little’s books are “Seeing Spots Before Your Eyes” and “SkyBluePink With a Green Smell”.
“Primary Fusion” and “Prepared to Dye” do the same thing for ProChem as the above books do for Majic Carpet. Gene Shepherd’s book, “Prepared to Dye”, is a great intro to various methods of ProChem dyeing of wool. Ingrid Heironymus’ book, “Primary Fusion”, gives great ProChem gradated dye formulas.
Then there’s Lucy Richards’ dye system. Okay guys and gals, this is quite a system! Lucy’s “Wooly Mason Jar” system works with either Majic Carpet or ProChem. She has developed cards for both sets of dyes. I like it because I can look at the dye samples on a card and quickly recreate a particular colour. Major kudos to Lucy for putting all the time and effort into developing and marketing this system.
Lucy microwave dyes her wool. But there’s nothing to say you have to. I use her dye formulas, but process my wool the old fashioned way…on the stove or in the oven. I first learned that way and I just feel more comfortable using that method. Microwave dyeing is a bit faster though.
I have used Majic Carpet dyes for years, and just recently switched to ProChem. Most of my dye formulas are with Majic Carpet. When I use ProChem, I’m usually using Ingrid’s, Gene’s or Lucy’s formulas, so I cannot publish those. However, as I become more confident with ProChem I am sure I will have a few formulas to share.
In the next few Monday posts I’ll post some of my dye formulas and their results for your viewing pleasure. So check in on Monday for the first formula in “Dyeing for Rug Hooking”!