Kool-Aid Dyeing

At Spinner’s last month, NW showed us yarn and roving dyed with Kool-Aid. She then gave packets to any of us who wanted to try it and referred us to an article in Knitty. I thought it sounded like a good Memorial Day weekend activity.

Of course, I couldn’t just use the packets by themselves, I had to experiment a bit more. NW had some very nice colors by dyeing grey. I decided to mix the colors to see what I could get. By Kool-Aid dyeing standards I was pretty careful about measurements, but I was pretty casual in my measurements.

I used fleece from an unknown breed, but I think the sheep was named Freckles. (Yes, very useful piece of information.) Maybe M remembers – I bought it with her about 9 years ago specifically for combing. The wool was cleanish. It was a bit greasy and some of the locks were quite tight and in most cases I made not attempt to loosened them up to absorb the dye better (so the results are uneven, which should help with the over bright colors).

I weighed out about 12 gr (+/- 2 g) for each sample.

I did 5 samples at a time using 2 packets of Kool-Aid (or Mixaid)

I mixed each packet with about 10 T of water. I then added dyes to the 5 small containers in the following manner:

Dye A: 4 T Dye B: 0 T
Dye A: 3 T Dye B: 1 T
Dye A: 2 T Dye B: 2 T
Dye A: 1 T Dye B: 3 T
Dye A: 0 T Dye B: 4 T

Koolaid dyeing

Starting at the right in the photo, the pairs are:
Mixaid Tropical Punch & Mixaid Grape
Mixaid Tropical Punch & Kool-Aid Lemonade
Mixaid Strawberry & Mixaid Lemon-Lime
Mixaid Strawberry & Kool-Aid Orange
Kool-Aid Black Cherry & Kool-Aid Lemon-Lime
Kool-Aid Grape & Kool-Aid Orange

The 2nd to last pair above included ½ t of Black Cherry with the Lemon-Lime to mute the green a smidge.

The last pair included 1 t of the other color in the first and last samples

I then added enough water to cover the already wet wool and put it in the microwave for 2.5 minutes (my initial water was warm but not really hot). I let it sit for a bit and then another 2 minutes. I waited again and then another 2 minutes. I checked it at this time to see if it was done. I think I went a few more times on a couple of these in a failed attempt to get all the color to be picked up. (The red dyes fully absorbed but the yellow and the blue were not fully absorbed by the wool.)


One thought on “Kool-Aid Dyeing

  1. Love those purples. Can’t wait to see how they spin up! Nicky Epstein’s new scarf book has some stuff that would work with these colors in small amounts…

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