Last week we showed you the basics for dyeing socks.  Once you start experimenting more with dyeing socks and fabric, you can also start looking into the wide world of dyes that are chemically formulated for specific fibers.  One of the best places around for dyes and dyeing info is Dharma Trading Company.  They’re a favourite with Dreamers who love to dye!

Even if you’re not ready for learning the scientific ins and outs of fancy dyes, you can expand your techniques and start playing around with ways to add colour.  I’ve got two simple approaches to show you.  The easiest (and my favourite) creates something between marbling and tie-dye.  Called “low water immersion” or “scrunch” dyeing, it’s always a beautiful surprise to see how it turns out which, for me, is part of the fun.

All you’ll need for this technique are:

• Dye •
• What you’re dying (the unevenly dyed sock half from last week for me!) •
• A container not too much bigger than what you’re dyeing, remember plastic will stain! •
(to see what would work best, scrunch up your sock and try fitting it into various jars and containers)
• A container to mix your dye in •

Not shown:

• Very hot water (like for brewing tea) •
• Optional: vinyl or rubber gloves to keep dye off your hands •

Not that many things, is it?  Join me after the jump for the simple run-down and one more easy way to play with dye!

Get what you’re dyeing wet, just like before, so the dye is absorbed more easily.  Then take your socks and roll or scrunch it up into a container that just fits it.  This glass and jelly jar seem to do for me.  There is no precise way to do this (and that’s why trying things out with a Dyer’s Batch Crafty Bundle is perfect!).  How you shove or roll the sock into the container affects the final result.

Ready your dye, use the same amount of dye as normal (about a quarter package of RIT powder for a single long sock), but far less water.  You only want to add the dye to about as much hot water as can fit in the container you’ve shoved the socks into.  It’s perfectly fine to just guess.

Pour dye over your shoved, scrunched sock.

Set it aside and wait for two hours.

Remove your sock from the container and rinse in warm then cool water until the water runs clear.  This is the exciting part, getting to see where the dye got to and what patterns it made!  When you’re done, gently hand wash and let your creation dry!  No two attempts will be exactly the same, though you can get them pretty similar.  On the top is the one from the example, which I rolled (and if I'd rolled tighter, there would have been a better fade of pattern).  On the bottom is one I just scrunched into the container willy-nilly.

Now, if you’re ready for a slightly more involved dyeing process, let’s dry ombre dyeing!  Darker at one end and pastel at the other, ombre colour is fun and fashionable.

You’ll need:

• Dye •
• What you’re dyeing (thinner, non-ribbed styles work best, like O Basics)  •
• A tub, bowl or bucket (remember, if it’s plastic, it will stain!) •
• A container to pre-mix your dye in •
• An area by a sink to work in (this gets a little messy) •

Not shown:

• Very hot water (like for brewing tea) •
• Optional: vinyl or rubber gloves to keep dye off your hands •
• Optional: something to agitate/poke your sock with while it is in the dye (I use a stirring stick) •

Get what you’re dyeing wet and roll about two-thirds of it up. Set aside.

Remembering the quarter-box of RIT dye to one long sock (though you’ll need less for dyeing shorter and thinner socks like the O Basics and O Chevrons), dissolve your dye in some of the hot water in a separate container.  Once you’ve done that, add it to the rest of the water in the container you’ll be dyeing in.  Mix well!

Take your silly, partly rolled-up sock and dunk the unrolled end into your dye bath.  Softly move it back and forth to agitate it for about ten minutes.

You'll notice that the dye starts to wick up the sock some.  This is fine! It helps smooth out the transition between sections.

Now, unroll about another third of your sock into the dye bath.  Agitate gently for about five minutes.

Here’s where you’ll probably want gloves.  Unroll your sock completely and use your hands to dip the top third of the sock into the dye, just long enough to reach a nice pastel shade.

Remove the sock from the dye and rinse it out in warm water, letting the water hit the lighter areas first (so the dye travels down to the darker section).  Make the water gradually colder and rinse until the water runs clear.  When you’re done, gently hand wash and let it dry.

The result is a pretty gradient of colour!  You can (and should!) experiment until you get the look you like the most.  Try two colours (just do the same process with another colour, starting at the other end!), start from the middle, go wild!

One quick note before I let you go, below is a snap of how the terry-lined feet of styles like the Ribbed M Stockings and Skater Stripes dye.  Styles that are terry-lined most of the way up, like the Dreamy Striped Tubes, will take the dye in the same way.  They're totally dyeable, but the higher acrylic content in this part of the sock won't get as dark as the rest.

You can see that the terry loops take dye well though (and they would have taken it better if I'd turned the sock inside out).  So that is something to keep in mind if you wear your terry inside out (which I do!).


There’s a wonderful world of fun ways to dye socks out there and we’d love if you share the results of your experiments with Crafty Bundles on our Facebook!  And if you like dyed stuff but don’t want the hassle, we have tonnes of gorgeous tie dye offerings ourselves!