Hooked on Needles

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Kool-aid Dyed Cotton Yarn ~ Finished!

Yarn dyeing experiment #1 is now complete. Here are links to the steps of this experiment so you can read all about it from the beginning:

Winding yarn into a hank to prepare for dyeing
Making concentrated kool-aid ice cubes for yarn dyeing
Dyeing Cotton Yarn using Kool-aid ice cubes

My hank of kool-aid dyed cotton yarn is all dry and twisted up nicely into a tidy little hank waiting to be wound into a center-pull ball with THIS handy little gadget and crocheted into some nice washcloths or little drawstring bags or something useful like that. Here's the finished result of this dyeing experiment...

The colors are not at all what I had expected, considering I used five different colors of kool-aid for this hank of yarn. But I still think this hank turned out very pretty with shades of soft pink and a touch of yellow thrown in there.

It remains to be seen how well the color stays with the cotton after this yarn is worked up into something useful and then used and washed. I have been warned that, because kool-aid is a food product, anything dyed with it could eventually attract bugs, so that should be considered when planning what to make with it. I think if it is used for washcloths or something that will be washed frequently, bugs shouldn't be a problem. But then I am pretty sure what little color is left in this cotton will also be washed out over time.

This experiment was fun to do, but I don't think I will use kool-aid to dye cotton again. I do believe that what I read about it most likely is true, that the kool-aid doesn't actually dye cotton, but simply stains it temporarily. I am pretty certain that if I had continued to rinse the cotton, as I mentioned before, that all the color would have been washed away. The cotton fibers just don't absorb acid dyes.

For my next yarn dyeing experiment, I am going to try dyeing another hank of cotton yarn with the same dyes you can buy at the craft store for tie dyeing t-shirts. I have a feeling this will produce better and more permanent colors. I'll save my leftover concentrated kool-aid ice cubes for a nice skein of wool yarn!

I'd love to hear about your yarn dyeing experiments, or any fun and interesting new things that you might be trying this summer. Just leave a comment below!

Happy Stitching!

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  • As a die-hard dyer, I was drawn to your post at first wondering how on earth you died cotton! :) I've tried it before and never had much luck, but yours is gorgeous! I do believe that some of that color will come out eventually, but for now, it's sooooo beautiful.
    As for the bugs, I've found that when I use kool-aid, there isn't a single bug problem, mainly because when you rinse your yarn, it takes all the 'edible yummy stuff' out and only leaves the dye, which isn't really very interesting to bugs.
    Hope this helped!! :)
    Grace Ann

    By Blogger Grace Ann, At July 24, 2013 at 9:12 AM  

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