Dyeing with Koolaid

The Supplies-

  • Several packets of Koolaid get a few packs of the same color if you are going to dye lots of roving or like super saturated colors.
  • Foam brushes or squirt bottles.
  • Cups to mix the dye in.
  • Some vinegar.
  • Warm, not über hot water.
  • Gloves, if you don’t want to get to messy.
  • Plastic wrap
  • Newspapers
  • Roving that has been soaked at least and hour

Lay down some newspaper to protect your work surface (koolaid stains). Place the plastic wrap on top of the newspaper in at least 3 ft lengths or more. You can lay a second length of plastic wrap down as well overlapping the first by about a half-inch or so.

Measure out your roving, or weigh it depending how careful you want to be, what project you have in mind etc. Let’s say 4-8oz.

Snake the roving in an “S” formation using the length and width of the plastic wrap.

Makin’ Koolaid-
Put your packet of Koolaid in the cup and add 1/4 cup of the warm water and a glug of vinegar…mix and add more water if you’d like to dilute it more.

You can pour the dye over the roving or use a foam brush to tap it onto the roving, just don’t separate the roving. Google different color concepts, splashes of color, complete immersion, patterns! This is an art form in and of itself! Break the rules, have your own test kitchen!

Wrap it up in the plastic wrap like a burrito or cinnamon roll (fold the sides in then top, bottom; start at one end and roll it up so it looks like the pic above!

Steam the rolls…for at least 30min. You flip them over when it’s at the half way mark. The steaming sets the dye and blends the colors a little….

…you’ll be amazed at the results. I’ll post more pics when I get a chance to spin these…and what I may knit from them. So fun!


2 thoughts on “Dyeing with Koolaid

  1. Thank you for this. My roving collection is getting slim and I’m having to borrow from my daughter’s own stash. I have lots of raw wool and now intend to dye some using your technique. Should I card the raw wool first? I bought it for stuffing but I imagine I could use it for this.

    • 100% wool will take on color, so dye on! If you’re looking to spin it later on, carding or combing may make for a smoother yarn, but it’s all about what you intend to use the finished yarn for. If it’s raw wool fresh off the sheep, there may be lots of bits and pieces in the wool that you’d want to remove first. But the wool in any form will drink the kool aid right up! You can also use food coloring or powdered dyes mostly used for frostings. Very quick and fun, great to do outside on a nice day.

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