How to Tie-Dye Wool

Properties of dyeing wool fibers

Wool fiber is a protein staple known as keratinous. The wool fiber is composed of keratin, salts, fatty acids, and potassium. Up to 10% of wool fibers can have unknown impurities that are often referred to as ‘dirt’.

The preferred method of dyeing wool is in yarn form, due to shrinkage and pilling of more loosely spun yarns. When wool fibers are knit into fabric form, piece goods and garment dyeing can result in shrinkage and pilling.

Most tie-dye patterns and processes can be achieved on wool garments, however, you must factor shrinkage and pilling. Wool is not the preferred choice for tie dye processes, but can be an option.

Wool yarns are spun and identified in quality numbers. The highest number is given to the highest quality wool, and the lowest to the lower quality wools. The identifying quality numbers are not in sequential order but range from 90 – 28, 90 being the highest and 28 the lowest quality yarns.

Fine wools are typically Merino from Australia or America.

To tie dye wool clothes we would recommend a higher number quality yarn, and also suggest following how to tie dye clothes instructions which can be found on our website.