Hand-dyed yarn types

Hand dyed yarn types

There are many different ways to dye yarn by hand, all giving a different effect. Depending on how they look, they can be used for very different projects. Let’s see the some of the types.


It is almost impossible to produce a completely solid colour at home, but this is not a problem: semisolids are made with a single colour too, but the pigments do not dye the yarn evenly and it has slightly darker and lighter parts. The shade difference is very small. Sometimes the base colour is over-dyed with a very similar colour. These semisolids give a beautiful look to the knitted garments.

Hand dyed yarn types - semisolid


This is a wonderfully colourful variety with short colour changes.

Photo Credit:  bucilla  

Photo Credit: bucilla 

Long gradient

The colours of these yarns change from one to another over a very long way and produce some wonderful effects. The length of the transition can be so long that it happens once in a ball or – especially with commercially dyed yarns – several times. 

Photo Credit:  bilum

Photo Credit: bilum


This usually refers to the version of long gradient yarn when only one colour is used and the hue changes from light to dark.

Hand dyed yarn types - ombre

Next month I will show you some examples on what the best uses are for the different types.

Updated: Variegated yarns / Semisolid yarns / Gradient yarns

Happy knitting