Do you have a pair of woolies that is hand dyed and bleeding? Don't worry, we can help you fix that. in this blog post, we are going to discuss a few reasons your woolies may start bleeding dye to begin with and a a few methods you can use to fix the problem.
Are your woolies bleeding dye? Let us tell you why!
Here at Rainbow Waters headquarters, we use many of the methods we will discuss, to set your woolies before they ever arrive to your doorstep. But there are a few reasons your wool may start to bleed once they arrive. Maybe they are second hand and a previous owner might not have washed them properly. Or perhaps, we had an oopsie and they didn't fully set correctly at our facility. Some scented wool washes or even certain types of tap water can mess with the ph of dyed woolies and cause them to bleed. Hot water can do this too. Regardless of the reason, we are here to help you reset the dye so you can get back to enjoying your woolies.
(picture of the POT method)
Let's go over a few methods to reset the dye. There are a few different methods you can use to reset the dye on your woolies. Read them all below and comment to let us know what method you think will work best for you. These methods work best with clean woolies.
The MICROWAVE method.
(by far the easiest method we know of!)
1. Find a glass pan or bowl that will allow your woolies space to fully immerse once filled with water. Fill the bowl with lukewarm water and 1/4 cup of white vinegar. Swoosh around to evenly disperse.
2. Put your woolies in the water and squish until the wool fully absorbs the water. This may take a few minutes. You might even want to let the wool sit in the water/vinegar mixture for 15 minutes or so to fully absorb the water.
3. After your woolies are immersed with water, make sure there is still enough water in the glass bowl/pan that your woolies are covered. Place your bowl/pan in the microwave and microwave on hot for 2 minutes. Let cool for 2 minutes. Repeat 2-3 times until the water is very hot, near boiling.
4. Let the water cool a little bit and then dump it. Your woolies may be hot to touch at this point. Bring down the temperature slowly but rinsing under warm water, then slowly reducing the temp down to cool. If your woolies rinse clear under the faucet, you will know you reset the wool correctly. Tada, you are done. Once thoroughly rinsed, the woolies are ready to be worn & dried. Or lanolized. You can use a towel folded lengthwise to roll out excess moisture and then lay them flat to dry.
The POT method (on the stovetop):
(the next easiest method)
1. Fill a large stockpot with hot water. Add 1/4 cup of white vinegar to the water. Swoosh around.
2. Immerse your woolies fully into the water. You may need to squish them into the water. They will try to wick the water away in the beginning. But eventually they will absorb the water instead. You may let them sit 15 minutes to absorb the water using this method as well.
3. Once your woolies are fully immersed in water, put your pot on the stovetop and turn the temperature on to med-high heat. Stir the wool from time to time, in a swirly motion as the temperature increases.
4. Once your water comes to a boiling point, stir the woolies for about 5 more minutes. Then, turn off the heat and when you are comfortable drain the pot carefully. The wool will be hot to touch. Rinse them under the faucet in warm water, to reduce the temperature slowly. You can then move down to cold water. At this point the woolies are set. They might have a slight vinegar smell to them for a few days. You can wash them afterward if this bothers you. Then lanolize. Otherwise, you can use your woolies right away. Lay them flat to dry.
The OVEN method:
(we suggest using the other methods first, but if this is your only option, use with care & caution. It works just fine. We use this method here in house to do our marble dye jobs!)
1. Preheat your oven to 400'F. Find a large pan that will fully immerse your woolies when filled about halfway water. Fill the pan halfway with water and add 1/4 cup of white vinegar. Squish your woolies into the water until it absorbs the water. Leave on the counter 15-30 minutes to let the wool fully absorb. After this time, if you found that your wool absorbed most of the water leaving very little in the pan, you will want to add more water. Most of your wool should be immersed. Small sections can float up and that is okay as long as you have enough water in your pan that the wool stays wet.
2. Once your oven has reached that 400'F, place your pan with woolies in the oven. You will want to be near your oven supervising to ensure this method goes smoothly. As long as there is enough water in the pan, the woolies will stay wet and all will be fine. Check them often.
3. Leave them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, giving them enough time to reach that high heat point. Supervise, supervise, supervise. Keep checking on them often. A little steam leaving the pan is fine. More than usual steam means they are already hot, you'll want to remove them from the oven.
4. After 15-20 minutes or when the woolies reach a high tempurature, remove them from the oven & drain. You might be more comfortable leaving them on the stovetop to cool before you drain too. That is fine. Do what makes you feel the most comfortable. You will use the same method as the POT dyeing to rinse the woolies. Voila, you have reset the dye!
So there you have it folks! We hope that information is helpful in keeping your woolies in tip top shape with no more bleeding dye! If you have any questions or concerns, comment below or reach out to us. We are always happy to help.