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Why Kool-Aid for dye??

701 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  JessicaS
Pardon me if this has been covered before...

Why do you choose Kool-Aide for dyeing? Why not Procion dyes? or another type that is used on silk/wool?

Give me the lowdown, I want to know it all!! :LOL

As a fabric dyer, I am curious and anxious to get my hands a lil' more colorful yet with yarns... organic cottons and wools.

(A side note of other news... I'm signing up for local knitting classes here! I am just NOT a learn-as-you-read type mama. I *need* people to learn! I'm so thrilled I could scream! I dream about knitting... dreams of yarns... I'm in for some B I G trouble!!

And on the same vein... does anyone have links to different methods of hand-painting and dyeing yarn?? I really love the variegated look of the handpaints, but clearly I know you just can't throw some yarn in with some dye... that would make a speckled mess, no??

Thanks so much to the all-wise yarn goddesses!!
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I love it cause it's cheap, easy to find and easy to use!!! Supposedly, the colors hold very well too.

I just Googled "handpainting wool" and got some great articles-- Knitty's instructions are very good especially. A lot say to add vinegar but oyu don't need to-- Kool Aid is full of citric acid.

One of the moms on here gave me great directions too.

Good luck and have fun!

P.S. Congrats on learning to knit-- you're right, it's BIG trouble!! addicting LOL... especially yarn sales.
I tried this out and the Kool Aid dyeing was easy, not at all messy, and it can produce some really vibrant colours (and subtle ones too depending on how much powder you put in the mix). I had a blast doing this with my nieces and nephews recently.

There are directions for this in a wonderful kids knitting book written by a lady named Melanie Falick (or something similar).

There are some cool pictures and info. on dyeing methods and products in "The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook" too.
Kool-aid is cheap compared to other dyes! It colors really well and you can go down to the grocery store and get it immediately instead ofhaving to wait for mail order.

One note, you can only dye wool and silk (and other protein fibers) with kool-aid. It will wash right out of cotton.
Actually, in the long run Kool Aid is more expensive than either acid or procion dyes. They are more concentrated and provide richer more reliable colors. I prefer the reliability of acid and procion dyes. You can use the same methods to dye & once the powder is mixed with water, it is non-toxic. However, they do take a little bit more set up than Kool Aid. I bought a cheap set of measuring spoons and cups for dyeing, and use an old pyrex dish for heat setting - none of these are used for food cooking. Other than that, a plastic garbage bag and some disposable cups are all you need.
I totally want to get some acid dyes but the only place I know to get them is Dharma and they are expensive (especially when I get Kool-aid 10 packs for a dollar). Is there a better source for these dyes? There are some colors that you just can't get with kool-aid (like vibrant purple and brown) and I'd like to be able to dye those colorways.
Procion can be cheaper because they sell it in 2oz sizes instead of jumping from 1/2oz to 8oz.

I know Wooly Wonders runs coops among the mamas every once in a while. You could always try to get one started here, too. There seem to be enough dyeing mamas who might want to go in with you. You can also get both acid a procion (fiber reactive) dyes from
Have you used the procion dyes on wool? I have been hearing that Procion dyes don't work too well on wool. I have a few of the Dharma procion dyes from a tie dye kit I bought from them. Maybe I should try to use those on the natural Cascade 220 I have.
1/2 my dyes stash is now procion. There seems to be some confusion about how these dyes work. They are a fiber reactive dye - meaning that the color will be different if dyed on a protein fiber (wool) as opposed to a plant fiber (cotton). However, they work just like an acid dye as far as dyeing on wool is concerned. You don't need any special chemicals to set them into wool - just vinegar - and I've found them to be just as reliable as my acid dyes. I've even mixed colors with my procion and acid dyes successfully. They don't take longer to set, or bleed more, or anything bad like that.

I like that I can buy them in 2oz quantities. I'm not a huge volume dyer, so that size is perfect! I now have a couple of greens, a couple of blues and some hot pink that have worked great. I want some more, too. lol!
Thanks so much for all the information!!

I've seen so much yarn that was definately dyed with Kool-Aid... any mamas who use acid or Procion dyes want to snap a few pics for us??

I'm a visual person, and would really LOVE to see the "difference".
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I would love to get a vivid purple and a dark blue... I was a little intimidated by the idea of acid dyes. Can we talk more specifically - brand names, where to find?

I liked it because for $1 I could try it out.

I am cheap.

Now that I have experimented for cheap I am more willing to invest into the nicer dyes. They would be less expensive in the long run but for practice kool-aid works pretty well.

Melanie Falick *does* have a book called "Kid's Knitting" My first projects came from that books...super easy to understand! Great book to learn with.
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