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!


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  1. Posted June 22, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Gorgeous! :-)

    • Mom
      Posted June 27, 2013 at 5:51 am | Permalink

      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!

  2. Tammie
    Posted June 23, 2013 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Beautiful results! I can’t wait to see what you spin/knit out of this.

    • Mom
      Posted June 27, 2013 at 5:50 am | Permalink

      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. :-D

  3. Elaine
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    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
      Posted February 15, 2014 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      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! :-)

      • Elaine
        Posted February 16, 2014 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

        I don’t want things to “travel” so I’ll do it your way. That is when all this snow goes away!

  4. Keli
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    How much fiber did you put in? Where did you get the beautiful jar? Beautiful roving!

    • Mom
      Posted March 22, 2014 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      Hi Keli, I used 4 ounces of roving. I got the jar at a local discount store called Big Lots! :=)

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