Further to the fleeces I’m taking to Wonderwool Wales, I’ve also been busy overdyeing grey Gotland fleeces for those who’d like to try a splash of colour in their Gotland. I wash the fleeces first to remove dirt and most of the grease and then they get dyed using Acid dyes which are generally non toxic despite their seemingly alarming name – this merely refers to the acid used to fix the dyes along with heat and in my case I use Citric acid which is a food stuff so not so very scary after all. In some cases the “acid dyes” I use are in fact food colouring so the whole thing is entirely edible – apart from the fleece itself of course!! ;0)
I drain the fleeces over wire racking and once cooled I rinse them off with our Spring water and put them to dry in on racks in the polytunnel – not everything in there is green and growing!
A closer look at some of the colours I’ve dyed in the past week.
And once dry they are weighed and bagged up ready for sale. Not so easy to see the colours in the bag but they look so nice – fat little parcels of fluffy colour!
More fleeces to dye today whilst the sun is out. I try to do dyeing when it’s sunny. Our water is heated by a wood stove but when it’s sunny it gets heated by our solar thermal panels on the roof of the house instead and then the dyed fleeces get fixed in pans the electric stove for which the sun also generates the electricity via our Photovoltaic (PV) panels. So it’s not only saving money but it’s also good for the environment to work with the sun – which makes me feel happier. And of course the sun speeds up the drying process in the polytunnel!