Sunday, March 25, 2012

What a Colourful Day!

Last year my friend Janice, sent me some Cushing Prefection Dyes to try. Janice plays with lots of colour dyes to make her bear's colour unique, and they are very popular. I have always wanted to try this out and finally yesterday night, I took some courage and thrown in a few pieces of mohair to experiment and play with.

Have you ever felt bored making the same bears with the same coloured fabric because you ordered a large quantity of it? Then you should really consider to dye them! I wanted to make a few new dragons for Melbourne show but is running out of ideas and thought that it would be wonderful to have a few colourful dragons for the show.

Cushing's Prefection Dyes
Washing mohair before hand dye, this yellow mohair is going into the blue dye
As following to the instructions, I washed the mohair with water and detergent. Next, I prepared a pot of boiling water (pot generously contributed by my mum), and I add in a small amount of colour dye (powder form) with a few tea spoons of vinegar. I am not really sure what is the purpose of adding vinegar but I think the more you add, the better for the dye to be absorbed by the mohair.

Dark Blue Dye
After dye, the colour lightens
Next dyeing pink and white mohair. Going into yellow dye

Add some dye into the boiling water

Add vinegar and boils the water. When it's boiling you can start putting in the mohair
When the water is boiling, slowly put in pieces of your mohair. Let it soak for approximately 15 mins, as it absorbs the dye, slowly use a pair of long wooden chopsticks to flip and turn the fabric making sure all surface area are soaked in the dye.

Last piece of white going into green dye

Make sure it's fully emerged into the dye
1) Initially the pot of dye is dark coloured, after the mohair absorbs the dye, the pot of dye will become lighter and clear.
2) Some of the mohair backing doesn't absorb and dye as well as the fur. The fur are fully dyed but not the backing, hence if you are considering dyeing coloured mohair (Pink, yellow, blue etc) into other colours, be prepared that you might get fur dyed and the backing remains the original colour. However, I find this result interesting as well, you can experiment to get the fur and backing with different colour combination. This makes your bears unique! =)
3) The first piece of yellow when dyed to blue, it becomes greenish blue (Cyan) in colour instead of blue. Lesson learnt is that alway keep in mind of the colour wheel, yellow plus blue gives you cyan that makes sense!
4) Wash the mohair once you completed the dyeing process with water to remove the vinegar smell.

Air dry the mohair and almost ready to use!
I am really happy with the results and I can't wait to make something soon. It's very easy and fun as well, I would definitely try this again soon =)

Tata! Really nice colours! I am so excited to make something new with them =)


  1. Hi Wayne, I'm not sure if I remember correctly, but I think if you add salt to the water, and then the back colours more. Just try a postage size piece to see. I love the blue piece.

  2. Hi Kay, thank you for the advise, it was never stated in the instruction to add salt, but I will try it next time!

    THANK YOU =))))

    Hugs, Wayne

  3. Oh Wayne, they turned out so pretty! I never heard of adding salt, either, but it's worth a try if you want the backing to absorb the color when you are dyeing previously dyed fabric. Have fun playing with your new colors! Hugs, Janice

  4. Love the colours, look forward to seeing your dragons.
    On the subject of dyeing fabrics. Mohair is woven into a cotton which is why the backing dyes a lighter colour. Salt is usually added as a fixative to make the fabric colour fast. The type of dye used will also give different results, some are specifically made for wool which work quite differently to the Dylon/Rit dyes. I think Cushings dyes are made for wool, mohair and silk and protein based fibres.

  5. Thank you Janice and Wendy. Wow there are so many dyes that i should try next time. Will definitely share on my blog again when i get them.

  6. I think you can go to forum of Guild Master Bear crafter for reference:

  7. Yeap, I have so much fun. I am going to try out those Kool Aids you gave me soon =)

  8. Cool, I want to have a go too! Looks so much fun!! I tied dying some of my mohair with blueberries and it was a disaster!!! I just ended up with purple fingers and nails! Thanks so much for the tutorial Wayne :o) Hugs Katie xx


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