Little felt bag dyed in the microwave (and a link to Heather’s cornbread receipe!)

Thanks to Andrea who left me a message on Facebook suggesting that I try dying my unsuccessful white on white little felt bag.  I really do need to study the dying process properly but I find that there’s only so much time in one day and far too many things I need to do with that time usually!!!  I’m going to spend some time experimenting with Horst this June, he is really a master dyer and I am so looking forward to his workshop (a couple of places still available if anyone is interested!) and watching the magic as large white felt garments become wonderfully colourful creations under his excellent guidance and steady hand!

Lace ruffles on Neon dyed bag

I couldn’t cope with all the accurate measuring, preparing, heating and clean up involved with using acid dyes the other night, instead I have to confess I was looking for pretty much instant gratification!  Sharon and I had stocked up on Rite, Neon and Kool-Aid while I was in Loomis so I just decided to give things a whirl in the microwave with a big dollop of green Neon food colouring.  Neon pretty much describes the resultant colour perfectly!  The bag was still wet from the felting process so basically I added some vinegar and about 20 drops of food colouring to a small quantity of boiling water, dunked the bag into the liquid, swirled it around for about 5 seconds and then lifted the top portion of the bag out of the dye.  I then placed the bag and left over dye in a sealable microwave bag (it’s a small bag remember) and propped them up inside a cooking bowl.  My microwave is not very strong so I gave it 5 minutes on high and then a break of about 2 minutes, 5 more minutes on high, another break and then a final 4 or 5 minutes on high again.  All the dye was absorbed by the felt so at this stage I called it quits and rinsed under running water, no running of the dye at all!  My idea was to have a stronger colour green at the base of the bag and graduating shades towards the top edge, it worked!  Note in the picture how the lace ruffles don’t take the dye, interesting how natural and artificial fibres react differently.  Sorry I am not posting a picture of the completed bag, the design is actually a really simple first resist project if you leave out the ruffles and as such will be one of my projects in the book Chrissie and I are finishing!  At the rate we are currently working I am pretty confident we will hit our deadline, more about this and a little idea of the concept behind the book and what you may actually expect to be blogged about in my next post.

Lastly today, I was amazed to discover HEAT in the sun this morning so seized the opportunity to bring out my freshly baked cornbread and coffee to take advantage of the weather and eat breakfast outside!  I know some of you are interested in Heather’s receipe so thanks Heather, here is the link!!! 

Spring breakfast at Clasheen!


8 thoughts on “Little felt bag dyed in the microwave (and a link to Heather’s cornbread receipe!)

  1. I asked this question before but got no answer…did you use the same microwave as you use for home cooking?

  2. Wow, neon green it is indeed. I love it! I once tried dyeing a boring cream piece of felt with lace on it and it didn’t turn out great. The lace did not take the colour nicely and I tore it out of the felt in the end. Guess it really depends what’s the lace made of. Yours look very nice. Fresh and springly.

  3. Pingback: Craft Blog Update 13th-19th March « Irish Knitting & Crochet

  4. Hello Nicola, Am proud that you took the dye challenge. I am wondering if you wrapped your felt into cellophane before nuking it? The steam created inside the pkg. helps set the dye even more permanently and so it reduces the nuke time. I have not tried the food coloring method, I wonder if soaking the bag in vinegar, dropping the coloring onto it, then nuking would produce pleasing results. OH there is so much experimenting one can do and as you say so little time.
    I am STILL amazed and the amount of work you manage to produce in light of your busy schedule.

    • Hi Deb, I didn’t wrap the felt bag in celophane but did seal it in a zip lock bag. I am sure soaking the bag in vinegar and proceeding as you suggest would produce interesting results, go for it!!! X

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