Crafty Manolo » Too Kool for Wool

Too Kool for Wool

By Twistie

Some years ago, a wool-happy friend of mine showed up with some rovings she’d just dyed and planned to spin. I fell in love with the cheerful, Easter eggy pastels and asked her what she’d used to dye them.

I nearly fell off my chair when she told me Kool Aid.

Yes, the packets of fruity drink mix so loved by small children was the source of those gorgeous colors. Oh, and for those about to make a Jonestown joke, that was actually Flavor Aid. Then again, I imagine Flavor Aid would work, too.

Just don’t choose the grape.


Turns out, dyeing with Kool Aid (or similar drink mixes) is a pretty simple process. the results, however, are fabulous.

If you’d like to learn the method, I suggest going to Under the Desk (which is also the source of the top illustration) and reading through Ana’s illustrated tutorial. I know it’s something I’m bookmarking for future reference!

8 Responses to “Too Kool for Wool”

  1. Sarah R Says:

    It really is amazing- I was shocked the first time I found out, too! Whenever I have the money for my first spinning wheel, you can bet I’ll start dying wool then, as well- and kool aid will be so easy to find!

  2. Twistie Says:

    I’m thinking I’ll need to try it out, too, what with the whole learning needlefelting thing. We can share our adventures in Kool Aid dying with the class.

  3. ZaftigWendy Says:

    I’ve done it LOTS and it’s so fun! It’s especially fun with kids and as a way to give yourself breathing space at Christmas. You can give ‘em yarn and Kool-aid/Flavr-Aid and let them dye their own yarn and then you can knit or crochet it up for them afterward!

  4. dinazad Says:

    Does the dye hold up to washing?

  5. Twistie Says:

    @dinazad: I haven’t tried it out, myself, but I do know the lady I first saw do it wouldn’t have kept doing it if washing was much of an issue. She was a very practical soul. Still, I’ll be happy to do a bit of rummaging for specifics. It’s a pretty important issue.

  6. ZaftigWendy Says:

    @dinazad: Yes, it holds up to washing quite well. However, it ONLY works on protein fibers (silk and wool), so you can’t use it for cotton garments.

    It will fade a bit in the sun, but not more than any other dye.

  7. Twistie Says:

    Thanks for the further information, Wendy! That’s good to know.

  8. dinazad Says:

    Thank you, Wendy! I was really curious about that. Now to get some KoolAid…..

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