The perfect solution for hard-to-dye materials. Developed for acrylic fibres (e.g. faux fur, wigs and inexpensive yarn), these dyes are also the go-to for wood, reeds, straw, paper, leather and hemp! Use them for potpourri, dolls, buttons and furniture, or add to Piñata Claro Extender for custom alcohol ink colours.
Dyeing Phormium Tenax/Harakeke with Basic Dye: You can dye dried (pre-processed) or fresh Harakeke for this (it depends on your preference) but generally speaking the lighter colours will take better on an already dried material. You can either re-moist the bundle first or slowly immerse/curl it into the HOT dye. Please be aware that if you boiled the harakeke before, too much of new boiling may result in the whenu disintegrating while weaving – it depends on the variety of the plant.
If using Green/fresh – be aware that the true colour may not emerge until the whenu are completely dry, especially for the lighter colours.
These dyes come in handy jars and you can add as much or as little dye to your boiling water as you like until you reach the desired depth of colour. I normally dye with about 3-4 inches (10cm) of water and at a rolling boil. I start with just a little and try one whenu and then add more as I go to achieve a darker colour or if I have a lot of bundles to dye. Best to do this mahi outside or in an area where dye splashes are no issue or area easy to clean up.
Rinse bundles thoroughly after dyeing in cold water and hang to dry or weave right away as desired (it pays to let them dry a bit though).
Clean pots between use with hot, soapy water and a brush.
Please note: this Basic Dye will not “bleed” much at all during weaving (giving you coloured hands).
No salt or vinegar needed but each weaver has their preference.
Do not use too thick bundles as the dye will not penetrate the part where you tied them – my perfect number is 10 whenu per bundle but if I tie them at the muka ends up to 15 are good.
PLEASE NOTE: Individual results will vary – depending on the type and thickness of harakeke, amount of water vs dye and boiling time etc
For more information and colour charts and other dyeing advise visiting the manufacturers’ website: https://www.jacquardproducts.com/basic-dye