How I hand-dye cotton thread

Gradient hand-dying

When I became interested in how to hand-dye cotton thread, I started searching on the Internet for available information. I haven't found any suitable expalanation! Either the masters do not want to share their secrets, or I was looking badly))) And finally, I had to find out everything myself by trial and error. But for myself, I found a way of gradient dyeing, which I was satisfied with.

The photo below shows the results of my labors)))

Of course, you can try to dye thread without certain devices, but it is better to prepare in advance. I do not advertise either the dyes or the devices I use, I only indicate what I use myself. 

What I use:

  • dye for cotton yarn, I use Procion;
  • salt;
  • calcinated soda;
  • knitting machine / as an alternative - an "umbrella" for winding pasm;
  • markers for marking sections, I use the markers for crocheting;
  • a winder for rewinding into a skein, but you can also manually wind a ball.

Dyeing consists of several stages:

1. Knit THE CANVAS that WE WILL dye then.

As I wrote above, you can use an "umbrella", while you need to rewind one skein into small pasms, dividing them into parts, and then dye these small pasms in the right order, but it's more convenient to use knitting machine. I have a children's knitting machine with 40 loops. You need to knit a large canvas, it takes a long time, and is probably the most time-consuming process of all that will be written in this post.



As I use Procion dye, I follow the instructions for this dye (available on the Internet). 

For 2L of water I use a teaspoon of dye, 180 gr of salt and 30 gr of calcinated soda.


For dyeing, a large plastic container will be needed, which will not be used for food purposes in the future, a small plastic container, a spoon, a syringe.

I show the whole process in the video below.

  • First, pour water into containers. In a large container, dyeing will take place directly, a small one is needed for diluting the dye. In a large container, we dilute all the salt and most of the calcinated soda. You need to mix everything thoroughly, especially soda. If the soda is badly mixed, then there will be bright spots on the canvas. As I understand, soda acts as a color enhancer, and salt is a fixative.
  • In a small container, we dilute the dye and the rest of soda.
  • When everything is ready, add a little dye to a large container, and put there folded canvas. If you want the skein to start with a white color, then leave one section outside the container so that it does not turn dyed.
  • Leave in the dye for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, remove the canvas from the container to the next marker, squeeze the water into the container, put the painted section on the table, and add a little more dye to the water in the container. Leave for another 15 minutes.
  • Repeat the previous point to the end.
  • After the entire canvas is painted, it is necessary to wash all the excess dye. It will take a lot of water))
  • First, add a little liquid washing agent to the water, wash it, and continue washing until the water becomes transparent (ideally).
  • Dry the canvas.
  • Wind it into a skein.
  • Enjoy the finished work!

I do not pretend that everything I do is absolutely right, I just told and showed how I make gradient thread. But I really hope that my labors were not in vain, and they will be useful for someone.

If someone dyes in a different way, I will be glad to read in the comments!

Thanks for watching!