Date: Mon, 29 Jun 1998 18:47:18 -0700
From: "A. Vine"
Subject: Re: Query: dipped and dyed

Gerald Cohen wrote:
> A colleague today told me that an old lady he knows recently said: "I'm
> a Methodist dipped and dyed," the meaning being "I'm a Methodist through
> and through." And he asked me just what "dipped and dyed" literally refers
> to.
> I'm not sure. Can anyone help? "Dyed" looks like "dyed-in-the-wool,"
> and I suppose that the wool could be dipped into the dye. But this is just
> thinking out loud. "Dipped" could be "baptized," but then "dyed" wouldn't
> make sense. Tallow candles are formed by being dipped, but are they dyed
> too?
> Has anyone else ever heard "dipped and dyed?" Any help at all would
> be appreciated.

Wool is a reasonable guess. In order to prepare wool for spinning, it goes
through the following process:

1. The sheep is sheared.
2. The fleece is inspected and unusable bits are thrown out.
3. The wool is washed using a dipping process. (If wool is agitated, it binds
together and becomes felt. This is, in fact, how felt is made.)
4. The wool is dyed.
5. The dyed wool is carded or combed.

The dyeing can occur after the spinning, but this can produce a different

However, I have no idea if this is where the expression comes from.

Andrea - sometimes a spinster