This will be the last post with dye formulas. I hopefully will have given you enough information and encouragement to explore on your own. This particular post will cover red – the last of the three primary colours, red, yellow and blue.

Having mentioned primary colours I think it the best time to tell you if you want to be an excellent dyer you need to know and understand the colour wheel!  It is a short step from knowing the primaries to mixing various dyes to achieve a great variety of colours. Just having the three primaries and a black can produce a wide variety of colours.

Red dyes can be a bit tricky. Sometimes they don’t like to dissolve, even in boiling water.  I use a product called Glauber Salt to help.  Just a bit will do the trick.

I don’t often dye my own reds. I prefer to purchase or spin the deep poppy reds I use.  My sister once brought a couple of pieces of bright poppy red Thai silk home from overseas for me. I sewed a few articles of clothing for women in my family, and put the rest into my wall hangings.   I haunt thrift shops for lovely old worn red wool blankets for five dollars. It’s taken a while to work through those.

Recently I dyed a lovely pinkish red for my Fraktur chair mat using Lucy Richards’ Wooly Mason Jar Dye System. I wanted a dip dyed red. It was done with the warm ProChem set of cards.

In the past I’ve dyed a similar colour using Majic Carpet red and yellow. Here is my dye record page for that.  You’ll notice the measurements are a bit odd. I mean “smidgen” is hardly your typical unit of measurement. Nor is “toothpick”. Well, as in most things, I was experimenting. Walmart was selling small measuring spoons with tad, dash and smidgen measurements. I picked a set up to see if they might correspond to the Morris dye spoons somehow (the typical dye spoons rug hookers use). Here are the results for 1 smidgen red.

I’ve never tried to achieve a real poppy red because I’ve had no need to try. Between my spinning, the silk and the red thrift store blankets I’ve had more than enough.

Well this ends my short series on dyeing. I highly recommend if you’re serious about learning to dye fibre that you take one of the many courses offered online and off by experienced dyers.  Gene Shepherd, Lucy Richards, Beth Miller come to mind, but there are plenty of others. Definitely take a basic dyeing safety course or beginners course before attempting any of these formulas.

As always, if you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a wonderful week!

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