Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Dying Yarn with Kool-Aid (Tutorial)

I've slowly taken up spinning and I've got lots of fiber hidden in my house and I like the idea of making your own yarn and having control over the process. A lot of the fiber you can get isn't dyed. A cheap way to try drying without committing loads of money is using Kool-Aid.

I've tried it and its works really well.  It makes your house smell awesome and it uses items found in your kitchen. The down side is that it does take a couple hours to do. 

What you need:
-Fiber ( Use organic fibers like wool, avoid acrylics or plant base fibers like hemp or bamboo)   
-Dish soap
-A few packets Kool-Aid
-Some salt
-A pot 
-A Hanger   


1- Get your yarn, I'm using some wool I got at a farmers market over the summer.

2- Add some warm water into your pot enough to cover your yarn a couple drops of soaps, just enough to get a little bit of bubbles .

If your shove has a warming plate, put it on there for 30 minutes. If you don't that's completely fine.  All you're doing in getting ride of the dirt and grease that's on the yarn.  It takes half an hour to make sure that it gets in all the crevices of the yarn.

3- Once that is done, take out the yarn and remove excess water, make sure you don't twist it may cause some felting and that's not good. 

4-Empty you're pot and fill it again with some warm water and add some salt.  This raises the temperature that your water will boil at create a more even dye. This is the same idea as when you add some salt to water when you boil pasta. 

Put your yarn in and gently push it down into the water, ensuring that it is full submerged. 

5- Now this is the fun part. You are going to add your Kool-Aid. I picked some Tropical Punch and Ice Blue. Four packs in total, the more fiber you have the more packet you will need and the brighter the color.  

I was planning on having a nice light blue/dark blue omber, but fun fact Tropical Punch is not dark blue. It's red, as shown below.

If your working with one color add the Kool-Aid in mix in till all the crystals are dissolved. 

If your working with more then one color it is a little harder because you want to dissolve the dye in half the water without moving the water to much. As you can tell I didn't do a perfect job an the blue mixed in with the red and made more purple.   

6- Bring your water to a gentle boil and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the water is clear.  If your working with more then one color it is really important to have a gentle simmer that wont mix the water to much. 

7- Turn the heat off and let sit until it is room temperature. Once that is done take it would and rise any extra dye under a tap.  In my experience very little dye washed out, but there is probably more that would wash one in red and purple dyes.  

8- Put on a hanger to dry

9- Enjoy!!!!!

    Ask any question in the comments and I'll try to answer them as best as I can.

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