Tips & Tricks: Storing Dyes

This month, Ania is offering a few tips on storing your dyes with efficiency, and to help access the colors you need as quickly as you can. Read on below to see what suggestions she has to offer!

How do you store your dyes to help with ease of access?

Because I dye a lot of wool, and I do it in frequent marathon sessions, I need to have easy access to my dyes. I use a variety of different dyes, like ProChem, Cushing, Jaquard, and Magic Carpet, and I store each company a little bit differently from the others, to account for differences in how these dyes are packaged.

Cushing Dyes

The Cushing dyes are sold in envelopes, and not in jars like most other brands. To accommodate that difference, I store them in a transparent shoebox, and in alphabetical order. This helps me do a couple of key things: keep all the dyes in one place, and find a specific dye much easier.

Usually I prefer to store dyes in numerical order, but Cushing dyes do not have numbers associated with them.

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Each of the Cushing dyes in the box above are in alphabetical order. 

ProChem Dyes

As I alluded to earlier, most of my dyes are packaged in jars. This includes my ProChem dyes, which are the dye brand that I personally prefer. That means I have a lot of them to store! I use pull out drawers in my studio to keep track of all of my jars. This is a great solution to having easy access to all of your dyes at one time.

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All of the dyes to the right of the white container are ProChem dyes. 

There is one noticeable issue with this solution: Prochem dyes all have a black cap – with a pull out drawer how do you know which dye is which? To solve this issue, I used a silver Sharpie to add the dye’s number and name to each cap. This way, I can quickly match the dyes to my swatches and color wheel and know which colors I want to use for any given project.

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You can buy silver Sharpies like the one above at most craft and office supply stores – Ania purchase’s hers at Staples.

The ProChem dyes are stored in numerical order. When dyes have numbers assigned to them, I’ve found that those numbers are the easiest way for me to keep track of which dyes I want to use. This is because it’s easier for me to remember numbers than names! And it’s quicker for me to find a number than it is for me to find a longer, potentially more complicated name.

When I need to access my dyes its usually because I’m color planning a new project, and often my color planning process is completed with the help of my color wheel. My color wheel includes an 8-value  swatch of each of the 104 ProChem dyes available. On the labels of each color in my color wheel I’ve included both the dye’s number and name. By including the name and number of each dye both on the color wheel and on my jars of dye, it is as easy as can be to coordinate choosing the right color on my wheel with finding the right jar of dye as quickly as possible.

If you’re interested, these color wheels are also available for sale –  feel free to reach out to me in the comments below or on Ania Creative Design‘s Facebook page for more information.

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Here’s a close up of one of one of Ania’s color wheels, which include a swatch of every ProChem dye available. Ania includes both the dyes number and name to facilitate coordinating with jars of dye. 

Other Dyes 

For Magic Carpet Dyes, I store them in the box they came in. This helps me keep them all in one set place. I label them with the name of the dye on the cap (Magic Carpet dyes have white caps, so I use a black Sharpie). Similar to Cushing dyes, Magic Carpet doesn’t assign numbers to their dyes.

Jacquard Dyes I store in the same way as my ProChem dyes – with the name and number of the dye written in silver Sharpie on the cap of the jar. I keep them clustered in one corner of my pull out drawer so that it’s easier to keep them separate from my other dyes.

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The bottom corner of the pull out drawer is home to Ania’s Jacquard dyes. 

Do you have any tips or tricks to store your dyes? Let Ania and the rest of our readers know if you have a different system that works for you! 

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