I love mohair! I love the springy “boing boing” curly locks, I love the shine and translucent quality, I love the way it feels in my fingers when I spin it.
I was gifted with 8 oz. of natural silver locks. I wanted to dye it a rich red so that I could add it to some merino I had already dyed.
Here it is, heating on the stove top:
And here it is, before I teased the locks open:
*I couldn’t get a good representation of color. The actual color is what it looks like in the pot in the first photo!
I spent quite a bit of time opening the locks (non spinners, this is when you pick up a separate clump of wool– in this case, you would be on the right track if you are imagining a separate curl of wool– and tease it apart with your fingers) over a towel on my lap. There was so much dirt trapped in those locks! Also, I was surprised to see a pale yellow color when I teased open the curls. So I did re-dye the locks, after soaking overnight to thoroughly wet the curl in the interior. I thought this would draw the dye into the interior of the curls, resulting in a richer overall color. Unfortunately, this was not the case!
After I got the whole lot opened and shaken out, I came to some conclusions: first, mohair locks trap a lot of VM (vegetable matter) and dirt inside those beautiful curls; second, the tighter the curl, the less dye migrates inside the curl; third, if you want a rich color all the way through, you should open the locks before you dye.
I will be re-dyeing the mohair now that it’s all opened, as I want to obtain a richer red. For my own experience, I did spin some of this mohair as it is, and got a beautiful brick color. I am slowly learning how color acts in different wool applications– in this case, I learned about dyeing mohair, and what happens when half a lock is one color and the rest of the lock is another!
I have about 2 1/2 pounds of honey colored mohair to process, so this was a learning experience well worth the time and effort! I still love mohair, and can’t wait to begin processing more. I will share my 3rd (and hopefully final!) dye result when I get time to play again!