Paas vs Dudley; Dyed in the Wool

Yeh, I’m still subjecting Corriedale roving to Easter egg dyes. Yesterday I made several local retailers happy by clearing out some of their dye kit inventories. It’s a much better deal to buy them the day after than the week before Easter. Egg dyeing kits must be quite the racket. After pulling several dozen kits apart this afternoon, I came to the conclusion that there are pennies worth of manufacturing cost and dollars worth of income. I have a quart zipper bag stuffed with stickers and such, another such bag housing “clear” crayons and the dippers, and the dye tablets are in labeled bags sorted by kit and brand. Takes up a whole lot less space than all those air filled cardboard boxes with a small, thin bag of stuff rattling around inside.

So what to do with the odds and ends? The egg dippers in the Dudley kits are very solid wire, and I could use some weaving hooks of various sorts. I bent one to test drive, and if it doesn’t do what I need, I can bend it more – or start over again. I sure have a lot of blanks! The Paas dippers appear to be copper and more flimsy, so they will be used otherwise.Now, about the dyeing… Everything I dyed during Fiber Adventure Week was done out of the Dudley kits I bought at Goodwill, but I have a stack of Paas kits, too. I wondered greatly how the colors compare between the brands, so I dyed each of the 9 colors in a Paas Classic kit solid. It turned out to be an interesting comparison.

Left to right – teal, blue, purple, red/strawberry, pink, leaf green

The Dudley are above and Paas below on the group photo, and in the yellow and orange photo, the Dudley is the smaller sample (dark orange and the yellows are the same), since I carded the main roving into the gradient rolags last week. Over all, the Paas colors were lighter and gentler, not showing as much of the neon bright that I saw in the Dudley. However, the actual color appears to be precisely the same in most of those, and several were even identical in intensity, so I’m suspicious that what I’m seeing is simply a matter of less dye, and that if I used the Dudley colors in a larger pot with more fiber, I might see the same effect. If that’s the case, that would be one point in favor of the Dudley kits.

The 9-color Dudley I used had a nice brown that I really like, but the Paas has denim, and I like that one, too. That’s one point for each of them.

orange, yellow, green

denim, red, pink

teal, blue, purple

And the Paas kit gets a point of its own for color integrity. The purple dyed almost perfectly solid without any major effort on my part, but I never have managed to get Dudley to do that. The shade of purple is different, so the red/blue balance is also different. You will also notice that the teal from the Paas kit really IS teal instead of the bright green I got with Dudley.

That means there’s a tie – strong points for both kits and some variations that make both of them worthy acquisitions. If you are seriously interested in dyeing decent teal and purple, and you like the denim as much as I do, go for the Paas kits. If you want to dye more fiber with the same size kit, you might find the Dudley kits to be better. Personally, I’m buying whatever I can find clearanced. I’m having too much fun playing with these. 😉

One more quick note… My brilliant friend, Joy, went into Easter egg dyeing with her preschooler this year very prepared. She bought ready to dye sock yarn, and they used their excess egg dye to hand-paint the yarn, finishing it in the microwave. Sure beats dumping all that great color down the drain! You can access her blog through my sidebar or view the post by clicking here. Thought some of you might want to copy her great idea next year… 🙂


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