Direct Paint Wool


This is a picture rich post, about how to direct paint woolen fabrics. It's very fun, and simple to do! This project focused on painting wool, for using as a book or folder cover.

Materials list:

wool fabric (purchase online, or from specialty fabric stores)

acid dyes (I used Jacquard)

plastic wrap



paint palette tray, for mixing


citric acid, or vinegar (for fixing the dye)

fabric paints, and markers if desired. I also used stamps & Jacquard Lumiere (it's metallic!)


Soak your desired wool. Any amount of fabric may be used, a tablespoon of citric acid to each pound is about right. I soaked the wool, for about 30 minutes. (if using vinegar, use about a quarter cup) Just anough water to cover. 


Mix your dye! Use little water, at a time to get the right consistency. Not too thick, so it flows well. You can go for rich colors, or as light as possible. less dye+lighter color. 


Lay out your wool fabric. Any yardage can be used. Imagine making a large amount, and sewing a skirt! Or maybe make a magical, fantastic cape. The ideas are limitless. The child here, was closely monitored. The brush was long, so we decided for motor skill ease-to not use gloves. I recommend gloves. Not all littles are focused ;)


I got into the painting too! A simple shape, that I embellished later. 

Fixing the dye: I used a canner. The project was rolled up, and placed in the canner basket. It was steamed for 30 minutes, while we enjoyed time in the garden. Simple, rinse in cool water and hang to dry!


I added some stamped motifs. These were simple stamps, I made using Mastercarve. Any stamp, or maybe a leaf from nature can be used. Be creative, there's no rules. This is a fun project. I went on to let the project dry. Then, had a ball sewing up the fabrics. They'r enow covers for a book, and folder. There is a lot out there, on painting silk, not much on painting wool. Wool is so versatile and fun! The panel I used for my filder, was hand felted. Each weave of fabric will take dye differently.

This project was done several years ago. There's more of a sewing movement now, and I considered it would be fun to post about! Make a book bag, a vest, a hat. There's so many options. All you need are a few acid dyes, a source of steam and you're good to go.

Do observe safe handling practices. Wear gloves, and a mask when mixing dyes. Never mix dye powders, with children present. Keep your work surface clean, basic common sense. I purchased my materials from Dharma Trading Co. 

Sayra AdamsComment