Sun Fiber

Dying Roving Fiber in the SunIf you’ve ever made a big jar of sun tea, the concept of solar dyeing will make perfect sense to you. Simple ingredients: water, vinegar, fiber, your choice of dyes and a big tea jar along with a sunny summer day is pretty much all you need. I also used squeeze bottles to mix my dye in and a dedicated set of measuring spoons . If you aren’t using food safe dyes such as Kool-Aid or food colors, the containers you use for dyeing should be for dyeing alone, not to be used again for food or drink. Many professional dyes have heavy metals in them that aren’t safe to ingest, so keep all dyeing utensils for dyeing only.

Solar Dying Roving and Fiber

I pre-soak my fiber right in the jar with tap water and a generous glug of vinegar. Let it soak for a good 30 minutes before dyeing.

Sun Dying Roving and Fiber

Add color however you like. I started with a light red that I squirted over about 3/4 of the fiber, then added puddles of darker red, then purple to get a variegated braid of fiber. If your goal is to make a variegated braid,  add color after your fiber has heated in the sun and the dye will strike faster, so you’ll get less mixing of colors.

Dying Roving Fiber in the Sun

Sit your jar in the sunshine and let it brew until your water is clear, which means the dye is exhausted. Tip the jar and drain out the liquid, then gently squeeze out the fiber and hang it to dry. I hang mine in the shade of my backyard tree. Here’s an excellent video that shows how to braid roving for a pretty presentation of your home dyed fiber.

Solar Dying Yarn and Fiber in the Sun

The result is always unique and a good way to start a fun summer spin. Tour de Fleece is right around the corner!



    • Mom says

      Thanks Andrea! Are you gonna try some “sun Fiber”? I know you live in a part of the country where it’s super fast! LOL! Those 110+ temps are coming right up! Haha!

    • Mom says

      Hey, thanks Tammie! It’s still just sitting on my shelf looking pretty, but once I start spinning it, I’ll show it off here. 😀

  1. Elaine says

    I have never died fiber but the idea of doing it jar like making sun tea is great. Little if any mess and fuss.

    After you soak your fiber, you drain the water/vinegar off before dying correct? Do you squeeze the fiber out then dye or just drain the mixture off, then do your dying?


    • Mom says

      Hi Elaine! I squeezed the fiber when draining. You could just drain, but then the applied dye would “travel” a bit, which I try to avoid for the most part, since I’m prone to getting muddy colors from dyes traveling away from where I want them and blending too much. But if you want more blending, just keep the fiber wetter by not squeezing. Hope that helps! :-)

  2. Kay says

    Just wondering if I could do this with mohair roving. I am wanting to obtain a honey color which I can not seem to find anymore so I thought I would try it with the white mohair I have. What do you think?? I would appreciate any help here!!! Thanks so much!!!! Kay

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