We'll start things off with a basic plum color then we can spruce it up by adding colors to give it more depth.
What you'll need:
Wool or yarn (animal fibers)
Acid: citric or vinegar
Dyes: acid dye solutions of Red, Blue, Yellow, Black, Brown, (CMY recipe coming soon)
I'll be using 1 oz bundles of Mixed Breed Wool combed top. I always soak fibers by enclosing them in nylon net. This keeps everything nice and neat.
Soak these in some water until fully saturated.
Fill a dyepot with a few inches of water, enough to completely cover your wool or yarn when you add it in later. I added 1/2 tsp citric acid, or 2 tsp vinegar for 1 oz of wool.
I'm using red and blue for today but I do occasionally use CMY dyes to get a plum color. (recipe for that one will be given soon)
Add 2 TB (or 30ml) of Red dye stock to your pot.
Then add 4 tsp (or 20 ml) of Blue dye stock to the pot.
Grab the wool you've been soaking and gently press out excess water. Add it to the pot.
The learning curve with using Red and Blue is that the colors look super faded before heating. They need the heat to really pop!
Put the lid on and heat this up slowly on a low setting. I was alternating between 1 and 2 on my burner for about 20 minutes. You may also have to gently turn your fiber over during this process, the blue dye likes to stick the bottom.
Let cool. Gently place your freshly dyed fiber in a soak with tap water with a couple drops of Blue Dawn or textile detergent. And then a final soak with plain water.
Let dry. Bundle it up and admire your plum wool. :)
Adding 1 tsp Yellow dye stock gives the basic recipe more depth. A bit hard to capture with my camera, sorry!
Add 1 TB of Brown dye stock to darken and soften the blue tones.
Adding 1 tsp of black dye stock darkens it and plays up the blue tones.
You can also play with depth of shade by adding less dye. It's a pretty lilac color. :)
Have fun! I hope you find your perfect plum! (mine's the far right) :D