Calculation Mistakes to Reliable Dye Results

The Muffs Letter
Sat June 2024

My first recorded yarn dyeing recipes were written on random scraps of paper I had lying around and stored in a pile of other notes. That colour that I loved so much and wanted to dye again was hopelessly lost forever. I didn't trust the process yet, so I didn't record anything properly. 

The second set of recipes were hand written and stored in a binder, then they moved to a business card book. Sometimes, I wrote the recipes down incorrectly only to find out later it was all wrong. Not all the dyeing information was there, so there was a lot of inconsistency in my process.

I finally created a template online that I could print out and write notes on. I could record my recipes there, every time I created a new one. I could staple my samples to it. I stored these in a binder for a long time.

That brings me to where I am today. I now keep all my recipes online with names and codes. These codes match my bobbin samples which I store in a thread bobbin box. Each box can store an entire collection of colours. This storage solution makes it so easy to record and find recipes and create colour palettes. I have even used them for showcasing and creating custom colours for clients. 

While the initial setup and maintenance of an organised system was challenging, the long-term benefits often outweighed these difficulties. Planning and investing in good storage solutions and maintaining organisation as an ongoing practice has lead to a more productive, creative and professional dye studio.

Organising your yarn samples in a dye studio is essential for several reasons:

  1. Consistency and Quality Control: Keeping your yarn samples organized ensures you can maintain consistency in dyeing. You can easily compare new dye lots with previous ones to ensure colour accuracy and quality.

  2. Efficient Workflow: An organised system allows you to quickly locate the specific recipes you need, streamlining your workflow and reducing time wasted searching or redoing. This efficiency is helpful for managing multiple projects simultaneously.

  3. Color Experimentation and Record-Keeping: Organized samples enable you to systematically record and store your dye experiments and results. This documentation is valuable for replicating successful colorways and avoiding past mistakes.

  4. Customisation: If you offer custom dyeing services, having your samples organised allows you to quickly show customers the available options and accurately fulfill their orders. This enhances and supports personalised service.

  5. Inspiration and Creativity: An organised collection of yarn samples can inspire new colour combinations and dyeing techniques. Being able to see and compare different yarns and colours can spark creative ideas and innovations.

  6. Space Optimisation: Organising your yarn samples helps you make the most of your studio space. Efficient storage solutions free up workspace and keep your studio tidy, creating a more pleasant and productive environment.

  7. Cost Management: By keeping track of your dye recipe inventory, you can manage the cost more effectively. You’ll be aware of which colours you use more often, which colours cost the most to make and which recipes you could replace to create similar colours at a lower price. 

  8. Professionalism. A well-organized dye studio looks professional and instills confidence in yourself and customers. When customers see that you manage your materials meticulously, they are more likely to trust your products and services.

  9. Health and Safety: Proper organization can contribute to a safer working environment. Keeping yarns and dyeing materials neatly stored reduces the risk of accidents.

  10. Sustainability and Waste Reduction: Organizing your yarn samples can help you use your materials more efficiently, reducing waste. You’ll be more likely to calculate the exact amounts of dye you require for a project, promoting sustainability in your studio.
Even if you're a hobby dyer, organising your yarn samples is vital for maintaining consistency, quality, efficiency and creativity. It supports effective fibre dyeing management, enhances customer service if you sell your yarn, and contributes to a safe and professional workspace.

    (Above) Early days recipe recording at Muffs Merino

    (Above) Other ways I experimented recording recipes. Stitched into two sheets of paper Dye Journal. 

    (Above) Dye cards hand written for my binder.

    (Above) Dye cards hand written move to a business card book.

    (Above) Thread & bobbins in a case with written codes. I use a black ultra fine point permanent Sharpie marker to write on the plastic bobbins. (Photo from Muffs Neon collection - coming soon to Muffs Shop).

    Where to buy

    Plastic Bobbins

    Bobbin Box

    Get the Dye Recipes

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