Lately I’ve been having all sorts of fun experimenting with ‘dyeing’ acrylic yarn all kinds of colors for all sorts of projects! My latest was a cute shade of pink that I wanted to use in a brand new design I’m working on!!
I’ve been wanting to try some new ideas using the ‘dyeing’ technique, so a few weeks ago when I found myself wandering down the craft aisle of my local WalMart–which is actually quite depressing…but that’s a whole other blog post–toward the paint, I had no idea what I’d find until I started hunting…and then I had an idea!
I happened to see a bottle of this stuff sitting in among all of the hundreds of colors on the shelves and wondered if it would work on yarn. The back of the bottle said that it could be used on all porous surfaces… Yarn is porous, right? The definition pretty much says that anything porous has minute spaces or holes through which liquid or air may pass… So… 🙂
I bought a bottle just to see what would happen! I know…I know…I’m constantly curious to see what happens next.
So I went through the process of ‘dyeing’ my yarn by first making a small(ish) hank of white, but this time I wet the yarn really well, drained the water so that the yarn was still wet but not dripping, and then poured some of the paint directly over it and massaged it in.
A few minutes later I had this:
It didn’t look like much and I was a little underwhelmed…okay, a lot underwhelmed. So I looked at the back of the bottle again and it said to charge the glow by leaving out in the sun or by holding under light. Since I was making this batch at night, I opted for a light. 15 minutes later I turned off all the lights and this happened:
I had a hank of glow in the dark yarn in about 20 minutes for about $0.50! That price might go up depending on how much your yarn and paint costs are in your local WalMart.
I didn’t drip dry my yarn this time, because I wanted the glow to stay throughout and not end up concentrated on one side, so I put out several layers of paper towel and laid the entire hank right on top. I flipped it every 4 hours–except overnight when sleep took over–until it was bone dry (which took about 24 hours).
It doesn’t look like much but trust me, the secret happens when the lights go out!
So what do you do with a hank of glow in the dark yarn? Anything, really! It would look amazing in hats, scarves, blankets, gloves, slippers, sweaters, etc., etc. Since we are close to Halloween, Trick-or-Treat candy bags came to mind! A quick trip over to Moogly to pull up her AMAZING free crochet alphabet blog post, and away I went crocheting one B and two O’s.
A flat panel for the bag, a couple of handles, and viola! A Trick-or-Treat bag complete with a hidden surprise!!
I’ve gotten quite a few questions regarding how the glow in the dark yarn works so I’m going to attempt to answer as many questions as I can right here!
Q. Can you ‘dye’ any color yarn and make it glow?
A. No. Well…you CAN dye any color yarn but some will glow better than others and some just won’t glow at all.
- Hands down, the best color yarn to use is white. It will glow the brightest and the longest.
- You can also dye yellow, green, orange, pink, and light purple but you will need to use more paint and the glow will not last as long or be as bright.
- DO NOT USE: black, blue, red, purple, brown, or any other dark shades of yarn. The glow paint is not strong enough to do what it’s intended to do and you’ll be disappointed.
Q. How long does the glow last?
A. Glow time depends on how long the paint has been charging. If you leave it in direct sunlight for about 2-3 hours you will be able to achieve the maximum glow, but the longer you can leave it out in the sun the brighter and longer it will glow in the dark.
Q. Are There Any Side Effects or Health Risks?
A. As long as you use glow in the dark paint properly, there are no health risks involved. Many people fear that glow in the dark paint is radioactive or has radioactive properties; It does not. Glow in the dark paint is non toxic. Always use gloves when dyeing your yarn and follow all safety precautions labeled on the back of the bottle.
Q. Do I have to use this brand of paint?
A. You do not have to limit yourself to this brand of paint! You can use any–safe for fabric–glow in the dark paint available!
Q. I charged my project using a light bulb and it won’t work!
A. In order for your project to glow, it needs to be charged by UV rays. This is why most glow in the dark paint requires you to place it on a sunny windowsill for a few hours. The longer the paint is in the sun, the longer the glowing feature will last in the dark. If your light bulb isn’t working, that’s because it’s not producing enough UV to charge the paint.
If you are interested in keeping your glow in the dark paint glowing super bright all year round without using the sun, you might want to invest in a UV black light.
Q. Can I wash my yarn?
A. Yes! You can launder your yarn and it will still maintain a glow. Make sure your yarn is 100% dry before washing or you may find that it does not glow as well after.
Q. Is the yarn crunchy after the dying process?
A. No. The yarn is surprisingly uncrunchy after the dyeing process and feels almost identical to Red Heart Super Saver yarn. Once washed there is virtually no difference in the yarn that is noticeable other than the fact that it glows.
Q. Can I crochet my project first and then dye it?
A. Yes you can and it works exactly the same way as outlined above in the blog post.
Q. Is there an odor?
A. The paint has a very faint acrylic odor which vanishes once completely dry and/or laundered.
If you have a question that has not been addressed, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll add it up here! Comments are moderated so don’t panic if you hit enter and nothing happens! 🙂