Yarn Dyeing: Dye Stock Solution

Aug 08 2017 Dyeing Tutorials

Yarn Dyeing: Dye Stock Solution

We've gone over the maths behind dye stock solutions, so this week we're going to start our dyeing journey by making one (or more!) dye stock solutions for ourselves. We need to start with safety: first, whenever handling dye powders - wear a mask. We don't want to be breathing in these powders. Second, get some gloves (not kitchen gloves) to protect your hands whenever you're using dye solutions or acid solutions. Not that stained hands are a problem, but the acids may dry our your hands (and let's be honest, how many of us want to walk around with bright pink fingers?). Thirdly, protect your counters: I lay down a layer of saran wrap on all of my working surfaces before starting dyeing. If you're dyeing in your own home, you'll want to do this too, as it may be difficult to remove any stains that develop from drips, drops, or tipped over dye. Keep some spare towels on hand for spills.



  • Gloves
  • Mask
  • Measuring spoons
  • Saran Wrap
  • Scale
  • Funnel
  • Spare hand towels
  • Mixing spoons/whisk
  • Glass measuring cup
  • Dye powders
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Water
  • Masking Tape
  • Sharpie


We're going to create a 1% dye stock solution, because this is the easiest solution to work with. Remember that we will need 990 grams of water, and 10 grams of dye powder. We can easily leverage this dye stock solution to create a variety of depth of shade in our yarns. So first, measure out 990 grams of water. I like to use old Polar Seltzer bottles, and make sure that you tare your scale with the bottle on it before adding your water. Remove some of this water (about 2 cups or so) and put it into a glass measuring cup. Then, nuke this in the microwave for about two minutes. 

While the water is heating, measure out 10 grams of dye powder. You can get creative here and combine dye powders for unique color combinations if you like. Just ensure that the total is 10 grams. 

When the water has finished heating, pour a cup of this water into a mixing bowl, and add your dye powder. You will want to ensure that your dye dissolves fully. Some dyes will easily dissolve, while others will require some more elbow grease. When you have finished mixing, use the funnel to pour this solution into your bottle with the water. You can use the remaining cup of hot water to swish around in the bowl and remove any remaining dye solution that is stuck to the sides of the bowl. 

Make sure that you use the masking tape and sharpie to label your dye solution. Make sure to shake your dye solution before use.  

And that's it! Now that you have this 1% solution, you can easily make yarns of all shades - from very dark, to very light. There's a "quickstart guide" down below showing how much dye solution to use per 100 grams of yarn to get the shade you're looking for! And if you haven't already, make sure to check out parts one and two in our yarn dyeing series! 


Intensity  Amount of Yarn DoS Grams of 1% stock
Very Light 100 grams x 0.25 = 25 grams
Light 100 grams x 0.5 = 50 grams
Medium 100 grams x 1 = 100 grams
Dark 100 grams x 2 = 200 grams
Very Dark 100 grams x 4 = 400 grams


Full Yarn Dyeing Tutorial List

Feel free to jump around, or read the whole series front-to-back: