Tie-Dyed Wools

No, not that kind of tie-dye!

By: Story and Photography by Nancy Zeppelin Parcels

Sometimes there are things that make you wonder. That was the case when my grandchildren were visiting last Easter. We were looking at ideas for crafts on Pinterest and came across Easter eggs dyed using men’s 100% silk ties. They were beautiful, and it got me wondering: if this works on an egg, why wouldn’t it work on our wool?

As it turns out, it works beautifully!

Bleeding, or marrying, the colors from men’s silk ties to wool is easy. Because the results always vary, you will get one-of-a-kind wool—just for you!

At our local thrift shop, men’s ties sell for $1.00 each. (Perhaps you could shop at home in your own closets?) For this method, gather only 100% silk ties. There usually is a label inside the narrow end of the tie, which will tell you the fiber content. A word of caution concerning red ties (especially dark red and burgundy): they are real “bleeders” and might take over the whole pot. When I dye with reds, I try to dye just reds in that batch. With time and experience, you will learn to pick and choose different patterns, colors, and values that are pleasing to you and your palette.



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