Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wool Dyeing with Koolaid

Hi guys!

I've been dyeing wool with Koolaid drink mix for a couple months, and last night I finally took some pictures while making some new batches. My kitchen smells wonderfully fruity :) I use un-dyed wool, or what some refer to as 'core' wool, although any light-colored wool will take the dyeing process with varying effects.

Dyeing the wool with Koolaid is really simple and fun.

  • I just heat up a big pot of water on the stove until it's almost boiling. Then I pour the water into glass bowls (sometimes I also use canning jars). A lot of people just do everything in the pot, but I like to see the different colors through the glass - that's most of the fun for me!
  • I add some Koolaid mix straight from the packet into the bowls of water and mix well so there are no little "clumps" left. I really don't measure the amount that I add...if I want the color to be really vibrant, I'll add a whole packet or maybe even two. Usually I just shake some into the water and see what comes of it, keeping in mind that the wool will usually end up lighter than the water's color.
  • I then wet the wool thoroughly with water from the tap (this helps the wool to take the color evenly), and place it in the bowl of colored water, dunking it with a spoon to make sure it's all covered. If you want more of a variegated color effect, you can just dunk dry wool in the colored water. That method is pretty unpredictable, but it can be so beautiful (see the blue raspberry drying on the racks below).
  • Then I have to be patient and wait until the wool absorbs all the color and the water surrounding it becomes clear (usually between 20 minutes to an hour).
  • When all the color is absorbed, I remove the wool and squeeze it gently to get rid of excess water, then spread the wool out on drying racks.
  • Then I have to be patient again until it's dry! I usually do this at night and go to bed while it's drying. You can help it along by using a hair dryer on a warm or cool setting, or by putting the racks out in the sun.

Ok, on to the pics! I found a Koolaid flavor that I'd never seen before...Mango! It is so pretty!! The colors I used here are Mango, Pink Lemonade, Blue Raspberry Swirl, Cherry and Grape. For the Blue Raspberry Swirl (in the canning jar), I submerged the wool without wetting it first so it would take on varying amounts of color in different places. I love how it turned out.

Blue Raspberry Swirl, Pink Lemonade, Mango

Cherry with different amounts of grape added, makes nice shades of wine/mulberry.

Blue Raspberry Swirl drying on the racks

Mango (this color is so realistically mango!) drying on the racks

I am definitely hooked on dyeing my own wool, and it's so cheap to do it with Koolaid!
Now I'm off to make something with my new colors..... :o)


  1. Wow!! that mango color is kool!!!!!! What a fun idea.

  2. Hi Debi! Yep, I was AMAZED at how much the color really looked like the inside of a mango. I'll be picking up some more of that, I'm sure :)
    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Your yarn is gorgeous! The skunk is cute too!

    I am going to follow you.

    Thanks for posting on my blog thread!