debbie tomkies dyeing samples of acid dyes, kool aid and natural dyes in the hotel room in lewesThis is a question I’m frequently asked. My reply is usually something along the lines of ‘no more so than cooking the average meal ‘.

And indeed, I dyed in my kitchen for many years. I also dyed all my sock and fibre clubs, samples etc. in a rented house for a year and we didn’t lose any of our damage deposit, so I feel pretty confident about giving this advice.

However, nothing puts your confidence to the test quite like the moment you realise that, after a 5-hour drive and 3-hour set-up for a show, you’ve forgotten the box with all your samples in. Well, okay, I did have some procion mx samples, but no acid dyes, Kool Aid or natural dyes to show people. So we had a choice: 5 hours back home from Lewes (near Brighton) back to Sale (Cheshire) and 5 hours back again in the morning. Or (cue drum roll) head to the nearest supermarket, buy all the kit we needed and dye up all the samples in the hotel that evening.

Not being ones to avoid a challenge (and bearing in mind the thought of the M25 and M6 twice), we headed off to Tesco.

One microwave, some microwave tubs, plastic disposable beakers, a pack of paper towels and a few deep breaths later, we settled in to produce a very respectable 50 samples – 12 Acid dyes – 22 Kool Aid and 16 Natural dyes. All done in the microwave in the hotel room. So is dyeing messy? I’d say not 🙂 QED.

(Confession: We did cheat a bit by ordering a takeout pizza to the room and not cooking our tea 🙂 ).