Dyeing With Kool-Aid 101

Gwen Frazier 2005

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Today we will call K-- for Kool Aid! I have played on and off all day and had so much fun!! I want to share some of my tips so you can either get the great results -- or say -- I sure do not want that to happen

I have done extensive dyeing of silk ribbon with Kool-Aid and other drink mixes and have found them all to be very permanent if you use white vinegar as the mordant. I have had great success with certain brands and colors. I live in Texas and am particularly fond of using Klass Mexican Kool-Aid for dye. There is a flavor called Tamarindo that is the most gorgeous color of gold I have ever seen.

Here is a brief tutorial for using Kool-Aid to dye: Tip #1 - Buy plenty of paper towels (Watch for the sales) Tip #2 - Have white vinegar on hand (Ask me why I went to K-Mart at the crack of dawn) Tip #3 - Wear old clothes (Or wear the not tie dyed spotted look)

I used 5 yards of both 7 mm and 4 mm in each beginning dye bath

Basic recipe:
6 ounces of water and 2 ounces of white vinegar
Heat the water in a Pyrex bowl in the microwave for 2 minutes-remove and add vinegar.
Add ribbon and allow to soak 5 minutes.
Pour about 1/4 cup of the mixture from the bowl into a glass measuring cup and add the dry Kool-Aid mix.
Stir to dissolve and then pour this mix in with the ribbon.
Cover with Saran wrap -venting one corner and put into microwave
Heat on high for 5 minutes.
Stir gently after 5 minutes.
Cook 5 more minutes.

**Note: For some colors I needed to cook a little longer. You want the water to get very clear or very much lighter or even go to a milky white color.

Let cool for 15 minutes or so and then rinse till water runs clear.
Note: some colors need a LOT of rinsing!


A brief description of colors and what you get from each:

Swirlin Strawberry Starfruit - WONDERFUL RESULTS!! Full strength first dye bath gets you the most gorgeous color of coral - if you have ever seen a Tropicana rose - this is it!!.
I then added 4 more yards of ribbon to the leftover dye bath and got the perfect shade of very light dainty baby pink. This color may get over dyed later!

Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade - WONDERFUL RESULTS ! First full strength dye bath gets a beautiful Caribbean blue. Very bright -- would be great on a seascape!
I then added 4 more yards to the leftover dye bath and got a very gentle shade of baby blue! Still had the hue of Caribbean == but a pastel hue. I really like this!

Tangerine - Good Orange color. Next bath got a pretty light peach color!

Cherry - Bright RED!! Second bath - got a pale pastel pink

Wal-Mart Grape - OH MY - at first I thought I had black ribbon. As it cooled in the rinse water it became navy. Why do I need navy ribbon?
I decided to throw it in with the leftover cherry and I got the coolest brown color - just like milk chocolate ---kind of a reddish brown!! I think I love this color!

Kool-Aid Grape -nice bluish purple

Klass Tamarindo - Gorgeous burnished warm golden color. Next dye bath a light tan.

Klass Watermelon - Bright Coral Red. Second dye bath - warm pinkish peach color - really pretty.

Editor's Note: We would love to see your experiment results. Stitch your Kool Kool-Aid ribbons into something pretty and send the pictures to the CQMagOnline Readers Showcase.

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