Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Yesterday I posted pictures of my new crab pre- & post- Kool-Aid dye. Today I'm gonna give you a quick lesson on how you can dye with Kool-Aid too!!!

Dying with Kool-Aid is fun & easy & can be done with children (with adult supervision). I've only ever dyed wool with Kool-Aid, but if you've ever spilt the sugary drink onto your clothes (or carpet... sorry mom), you know that it it permanent. Also the natural acidity of the Kool-Aid "sets" the color so that it will bleed little if any.

1) Now, you can use any color or brand of powdery-drink-mix, as long as it's NOT SWEETENED! A couple things to note about preparing your dye bath... The intensity of you dye will depend on how much Kool-aid you put into your bath.


I usually just use (1) package of powder for whatever I dye, cause I like bright colors. You can also mix and match color combinations to create custom colors!!

2) So the first step to dying your fiber in Kool-Aid is to pre-soak it in some warm water. This step is included in all of the instructions that I have read. I think what it accomplishes is to open the scales of the fibers up so that it can absorb more dye. It just loosens everything up and warms it up for it's bath. Pre-soak the wool for about 15 minutes, or while you are waiting for you giant pot of "bath" water to come to a low boil.

3) Once your pot of water (alot of people say to use pots that are designated for dying only, I think this applies if you are using professional acid dyes, but I'm poor & Kool-Aid is non toxic, so I just used my big pasta pot) come to a LOW boil, add and stir in you Kool-Aid. Bring down the heat to keep the water at a nice hot simmer.

I like this picture cause it looks like I ready to cook my little crab!! Don't worry, he's fine!!

4) So now's the time to sit back and let the magic work!! I kept the crab aggitated to help get a consistant overall red.
**You know when to take your fiber out by watching the water. This is easy to see because as the wool absorbs the color from the water, the water becomes less colorful. With many of the Kool-Aid colors, by the end the water is CLEAR!! No dye is left, it's all been absorbed... MAGIC!!

5) At last you wool is ready to come out of it's dye bath!! CAUTION IT WILL BE HOT!!! Now it's time to rinse it out with some warm water. You might notice slight bleeding, so just rinse untill the water is clear. Like I said the acidity of the Kool-Aid sets the color without the need of a setting agent, like vinegar. Feel free to give it another bath with vinegar if you want to super-set the color. So once you rinse it out, pat it with a towel to soak up the extra water. I let my crab sit inside a towel to help absorb the extra water for about an hour, then layed him out on a cookie cooling rack to finish him by air dry.

That's it...
It's Magic...
Pretty awesome...

*wow that took me FOREVER to type out, I hope it's easy to understand. Let me know what you think!!


  1. Great advice, I'll so have to try that! Thanks!!! :)

  2. SO cool! I'm going to try a shirt doing that!!! Thanks for the post!

  3. Yes, great job in explaining the process!

  4. I just found your blog and I love your work. I am like you, I love detailed projects and have always felted them entirely. I love that you use foam as part of your armature, that would save a lot of wool and hours of needle felting.