Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Fabulous Mr Fox...Tail?! A tale of dying sheepskin.

Experimenting with food colouring to dye sheepkin!

In my cooking POT.....

...I dyed this sheepskin collar to resemble two fox tails (although I think its turned out rather yellow! Not orange as I'd planned) BUT it IS quite cartoon-like so I' pleased about that!

Might be good for an animal themed costume maybe? Any ideas as to what I can do with it?

Not sure what to try next....maybe the kool aid technique?

Another bummer is.... I used vinegar to set the food colouring dye and although I added peppermint to try and disguise the smell...its still smells kinda funky! I don't whether the smell may put me off selling it?

The skin has gone a tad crispy where I dried it on the radiator-OOPS! Overall I think this experiment was a fail. But I'll keep trying....

Here's what I did... Mixed vinegar and water in a pot, heated, added the sheepskin till it started simmering, then added the food colouring, yellow first (which took well) then red...a lot of red...a whole lil' bottle...(as you can see the red didn't make it go orange enough.) Then turned off the heat so it wouldn't boil then simmered it for a bit longer. Then added peppermint essence to try and kill the vinegar smell (failed)!

Who knows if I did this correctly as I sort of hashed this technique together from tips on the internet for dying wool, which has obviously not got skin attached so you can heat much higher temperatures, and do in a crock pot/microwave. Annoying really. The skin just disintegrates at high temperatures. Don't know the exact temp though.

I previously tried these strips and was happy with the colours so I'm a bit disappointed with the colours I got. Can't remember what I did differently!


I liked the top colour thats what I wanted to achieve- I think I used less yellow and some more blue?!
The middle colour is just red and blue, lots of blue, it didn't take as well as the red!? So confusing eh!

Any ideas on improving my experimental dying technique?


  1. I love the colours you came out with! That looks like it must be so hard to do!
    Just posted about you, thanks again : ) : )

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