An Introduction to 6 Yarn Dyeing Techniques

Dyeability of yarn is an important factor when it comes to choosing weaving yarn or any other yarn. There are different techniques used for dyeing yarn. In this article, we learn about the six most common yarn dyeing techniques including:

  • Solid colour 
  • Tonal or semi solid 
  • Ombre or Gradated 
  • Multi colour or variegated 
  • Self Striping Yarn
  • Speckled or Sprinkle Dyed


You need the following supplies for dyeing weaving yarn and other yarns:

  • Yarn 
  • Yarn Ball Winder
  • Acid dyes 
  • White Vinegar
  • Spoons, plastic cup, chopsticks   
  • Cooking pot 
  • Hotplate or Stove 
  • Water 
  • Gloves 
  • Dust Mask 

Yarn Dyeing Techniques

Solid Dyed Yarn

It is a skein of yarn dyed using solid colour. The dye method used in solid dyed yarn is the immersion yarn dye method. This is a tricky method. The yarn should be evenly dyed by moving the skein in the dye pot. You must be careful in this method. 

Mix warm water and vinegar to presoak the yarn. Mix up the acid dye while soaking the yarn. Add water to the dye pot. Stir after adding liquid dye. Move the skein of yarn in the dye pot. Raise heat to simmer. Stir the yarn and let it simmer. 

Tonal or Semi Solid Yarn

The same colour with various strengths is used to dye the yarn. Some yarn areas are dyed lighter and others are darker. This yarn has an interesting marbled look. You can use different methods to achieve a tonal yarn or semi solid yarn. Pouring liquid dye on several areas of the yarn while soaking is one of these methods. The liquid dye will disperse.   

Ombre, Gradated or Gradient

In ombre, gradated or gradient yarn, the colour changes from the lightest to darkest. The yarn can have only one colour or one colour gradually changing to another colour. You can use different techniques to achieve a gradient or ombre yarn. Add dye with different strengths in different bowls. Soak one section of the yarn in one bowl, second section in the second bowl and so on. 

In another method, you need a dye pot. Dip the skein in the dye pot. Now, lift out one section of the yarn at a time.

Multi Colour or Variegated   

It is also known as Space Dyed yarn. As the name tells, this yarn uses multiple colours. It can have repeated strips in one or more than one colour to create a pattern. Hand painting method is one of the methods used to achieve this yarn with patterns. You get full control to place various colours. If you want to dye different areas with random colours then you can use the kettle dyeing method.  

Speckled or Sprinkled

This yarn features speckled or sprinkled spots. It can have a solid-coloured or multi-coloured base. You can use a liquid dye or powder dye. The speckle dyeing is a straightforward method but you need some practice. Too little dye will not even appear and too much dye will lead to a big blob. 

Self Striping Yarn

You can create long sections to produce stripes in this dyeing technique. The length of a normal skein of yarn is not enough for this technique. You need to re-skein it to produce stripes in many rows. Whether it is weaving yarn or any other yarn, make sure that it is eco-friendly Yarns. Make sure that you use eco-friendly dye.

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