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4.7 out of 5 stars33
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 11 January 2011
I bought the book and found it very helpful, it has so many techniques that would normally take a while of trawling through the internet to find, and the projects in the back are lovely. There's a lot of advice which is very encouraging to new dyers and the steps make dyeing look easier than most other resources.

If you are interested in dyeing plant fibres, then you'll want to look elsewhere as this book focuses on wool and animal hairs and has almost no information about using procion mx dyes for those interested in dyeing cotton or linen etc.
My only other criticism is the spiral binding, lots of people on the American site are saying that it's great as it lets the book lie flat, but when I was reading the book, I found that many of the inside edges of the pages were stuck together around the binding wire which resulted in a few nearly and lightly torn pages
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on 25 July 2010
I am a felt making tutor who was keen to start dyeing my own fibres. I had bookmarked many websites and blogs and everyone seemed to be doing it differently so after many hours searching the net, I came across this on amazon and what a treat it has been. Every possible technique you could want with clear instructions, fantastic photography and easy to do at home projects. I later devised a 3 day workshop based on the findings of this book and it gave my students the confidence to go home and ' get dyeing '. Buy and enjoy!!
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on 22 January 2015
Edited 29th January. DISAPPOINTED!
I really wanted to like this book, & the bit I do like, I like very much, but it is only a little bit, & not enough to justify a book, or the price of a book.

I've now had this book a`week, so have had time to read it thoroughly. My original review (below) stands, but I'm sorry that I've had to downgrade my rating to 2 stars as this book - despite its title - is totally inadequate regarding the dyeing of fleece & unspun fibre, which is the prime reason I bought it. I'll keep it as a handy reference for multi-colour techniques of dyeing spun protein fibres - but that's only around 30% of the book, which made it an expensive purchase. The useful and original content of this book, quite frankly, could have been published more appropriately as an illustrated pamphlet.

In addition, I'd love to ask the author why ~20% of the content of a dyeing book would be knitting patterns? This is just, IMO, a very blatant, cheap form of padding, nothing more. It leaves me with a poor impression of the author.

Original review:
The content of this book appears interesting and useful with some innovative ways for the hobby dyer to 'arrange' colours on yarn or fibre and get striking results, and the safety information - both personal and environmental - is good. The photography shows the luscious colours, patterns, blends and combos achieved with the author's techniques BUT I have several caveats about this book as a whole which have resulted in my only giving it 3 stars.

First - and perhaps a minor gripe for some, but to me an indication of poor practice - the page numbers use a very pale pastel font, so it's difficult to navigate round the book. Associated with this, some page headings have a pastel background with a slightly-darker pastel font of the same colour. Illegible in a poor light, or what? The main text of the book is in clear black-on-white, so what this aberration is about, I have no idea. It is very annoying, though.

In theory the spiral binding should make it easy to work from - the book should lie flat - but there's something wrong with it; many pages won't lie flat without being forced, and attempting to do that makes it seem likely that they will tear out. Each individual 'stuck' page needs to be gently coaxed with the pressure of one finger only. There is clearly a problem with the printer's production standards - in China, I believe.

The author uses imprecise, inconsistent & unknowable measurements. Where she says 'a teaspoon' she adds 'any teaspoon'. Some of her 'recipes' use quantities defined by a 'packet' of X brand dye, which is not in any way, shape or form a useful measurement.

Finally, this book should be called the One Dye Brand Only book of Stinky hand dyeing yarn and fleece. Although there are a couple of pages discussing different dyes, in the recipes and techniques section, only the one brand is mentioned & the author uses only brand names for colours. If you would like to try to replicate the author's impressive results with the dyes available to you, you have no idea what actual colour or blend of colours is being called for & this severely limits the usefulness of the book outside the USA . Despite the author's comprehensive & otherwise well-thought-out safety section, she only calls for vinegar/dilute acetic acid in her 'recipes' - which vapourises & can affect the respiratory system adversely, as well as making the house smell like a pickle factory.

The use of CI numbers or generic names for the dyestuffs, & a mention of other acids which can be used, would have shown more professionalism on the author's part. In no way do I profess to being a professional dyer or a chemist, nor a published author, yet even I have heard of the Colour Index International & know it's used to compare eg one manufacturer's 'Pacific Blue' with another's 'Ocean Blue' & a third's 'Mediterranean Blue'. I cannot believe that someone as apparently well-known in the USA as the author of this book would be unaware of the CI system - unless, of course, she was sponsored in some way by the manufacturer of 'Brand X' dyes ... I wonder ...
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on 17 June 2016
This is a very useful book for someone starting to dye their own yarn. It provides clear directions on the basic methods and shows how varying small details can produce obvious differences in the colour of the yarn produced. The background information is good and its just a brilliant source book. I've already commented on the negative review for this book to counter the claim that the book is full of irrelevant padding - it certainly isn't. The knitting pattern section at the end is a nice bonus but very valuable because it shows how the dyed projects from earlier in the book look like when they are worked up. This is a key piece of information that you just can't find in a lot of places. Even indie hand dyers tend to show only their dyed skeins of yarn - few reveal what its like when it becomes a sock or a shawl. You can discover some information on this by trawling through instagram hash tags but having it all presented at the end of the book is FAB.
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on 11 June 2016
What a fantastic book... I've been researching hand dyeing on the internet, but really wanted something I could refer back to time and again. The author includes a variety of techniques, with very clear instructions which make the projects easy to tackle at home. There is a good degree of background information about dyeing varying protein fibres which has been very helpful. I would definitely recommend this little gem to anyone who is starting out on their dyeing journey, it started me off and now I'm hooked!
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on 13 May 2016
I could hardly put this book down once I opened it! Full of easy to follow ideas and recipes, there are also some patterns to try with the finished yarn. I particularly like the spiral binding, so the book lies flat. Wonderful.
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on 3 September 2013
Good informative book on acid dyes for woolen and protien textiles. Lovely to look at with an inspirational use of colour. Cannot wait to get started.
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on 14 May 2013
Excellent book, very well written, great supporting photography. If, like me, you don't know anything about dyeing you will find it really useful.
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on 31 May 2013
Great book with easy to understand information and instructions.
Would recommend it for any person interested in using natural materials.
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on 27 May 2014
A really well thought through book with lots of ideas to encourage a new dyer. Spiral bound, so easy to use and good starter projects.
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