Home About the Artist Contact Me Information


How to Dye Horsehair using RIT Dyes
RIT Dyes are chemical dyes which are available in both a powder dry form as well as a liquid form and are readily available at most grocery stores. I use the dry dyes rather than the liquid dyes because the dry dyes store better over a long period of time, both work equally as well. RIT Dyes are a great choice for creating a rainbow of color variations.
RIT Dyes
Here are step by step instructions for using RIT Dyes to color horsehair. I always recommend starting with natural white horsehair to achieve the truest and brightest colors. You can dye either raw horsehair in a bundle or make it into pulls for hitching and then dye the pulls.
Step (1)   For dry RIT Dye
Start with a 1 quart (32 oz.) glass jar and add 3 cups (24 oz.) of water
Add 1 tablespoon of dry dye 
(you can mix colors for a varied palette)
  For liquid RIT Dye
Start with a 1 quart (32 oz.) glass jar and add 2 1/2 cups (20 oz.) of water Add half the bottle of liquid dye (4 fl. oz.)
Step (2)   Add 3 tablespoons of white vinegar - this helps set the dye
mix well using a wooden spoon or utensil that will be used for dyeing only
Step (3)   Fill a large sauce pan 1/2 to 3/4 full with water and place the uncovered glass jar in the sauce pan on the stove. Heat the water in the sauce pan to boiling, then lower the temperature to a simmer. Watch the dye mixture to make sure it does not boil.
Step (4)   Roll your twisted horsehair pulls or your hair bundle and place them into the jar. Make sure all of the hair is submerged in the dye.
(you can dye up to 100 pulls at a time using this method)
    Stir the mixture frequently to make sure the pulls are dyed evenly. Use a wooden or plastic spoon to stir the dye mixture.
    The dye takes very quickly, sometimes in only a few minutes, so keep a close eye on it.
    Leave the hair in the dye until it is a little darker than you want your final color to be. (the final color will be lighter after you rinse)
Step (5)   Remove the pulls and rinse under warm water until the water runs clear. To make sure the horsehair is completely rinsed leave the pulls in clean standing water for 10 min. If the water is clear after that time the hair is fully rinsed. With some darker colors you might need to do this step several times. If the pulls are not rinsed properly the colors can bleed later.
Step (6)   Lay the pulls out on a towel or hang them with plastic clips to dry.
    Allow the dye mixture to cool before putting the lid on the jar. Dye can be stored for future use if it has a sealed lid.
  If you would like more information about RIT dyes go to their web site at www.ritdye.com
  They also have a page on how to mix RIT dyes for certain colors www.ritdye.com/colorit_color_formula_guide



    Home   |  About   |  Contact   |  Info    
    Horsehair Art © Copyright 1999 - 2017 All Rights Reserved