So why are the 3 hanks so different? I have theories based on experience.
- The 2 hanks on the left are both superwash merino. The one on the right is a non-superwash merino. The superwash process leaves the yarn ready to accept dye faster than yarn that has not been treated.
- All 3 hanks have a tight twist, but relative to each other the hank on the left is the tightest twist and the one on the right is the loosest twist. The yarn on the left twists around on itself and creates resist areas. The tighter the twist, the harder it is for dye to penetrate the resist areas.
- Just as the superwash process leaves the yarn ready to accept dye faster, it leaves the yarn ready to accept water faster. I put these hanks in the water dry.The 2 superwash hanks were saturated with dye water immediately. The non-superwash hank floated on the surface for a minute before I was able to gently coax it down in to the bath. The faster the dye can penetrate the yarn and lock on to it, the more saturated the color will be.
- Different dyes take up at different rates. There is no such thing as a pure green dye (to my knowledge). "Emerald Green" might be a mixture of brown, red, green, blue and yellow dyes. Dye strikes superwash merino much more quickly than non-superwash merino. The superwash sucks up all the "fast" colors and leaves Mr. Nonsuperwash hanging back to slowly absorb the rest.
- Finally, all 3 hanks are merino wool, but the middle hank has 10% tencel. Tencel remains undyed in the presence of acid dyes. If you were to look very closely at the tencel blend, you would notice that the surface of the hank has a very slight sheen to it. That's the undyed tencel and it causes the yarn to look slightly less saturated than its neighbor.