04/10/2011

Kool-Aid Felt Dye

My original plan was to use natural dyes, such as onion skins, nettles and chamomile to colour pieces of an old wool blanket but I've decided to postpone this until the children are a bit older. Instead, we used Kool-Aid, the low-effort route that made the most amazing, bright colours. If you're in the UK and you've never heard of Kool-Aid, it's a US drink powder that comes in lots of different flavours. I bought mine on-line from here. It's great fun and very easy to use, plus it makes your house smell like a sweet shop!

You'll need:
An old wool blanket pre-washed on a hot cycle, cut into squares - ours were 20 - 25cm square
Sachet of unsweetened Kool-Aid in various flavours - 1 per square
Saucepan
Water
2 large bowls for soaking
A wooden spoon

Method (for one square)
Soak the blanket square in a bowl of tap-hot water for 15 minutes.
Pour 2 pints of tap-hot water into a bowl and add the Kool-Aid sachet.
Remove the soaked blanket piece, squeeze any excess water and add it to the Kool-Aid mix.
Transfer to a saucepan and bring to a light simmer.

There should be enough liquid to cover the square and it doesn't matter if it's not totally flat, but it should be fully submerged.
Simmer, with the odd poke for 10 mins or until the water is clear (with some flavours it turns milky)
Drain using a sieve and rinse in cold water
Peg onto a washing line until completely dry
Ta Da!

Here's a colour chart showing the colours and flavours:


12 comments:

  1. Crikey, what does that do to your teeth?! Colours are great though.

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  2. I was just thinking the same thing! Such a fun idea though!

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  3. Wow, what great colours! What are you going to do with them? I dread to think what it does to your insides if it does that to fabric! x

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  4. Erghh do people actually drink that stuff. Fab colours... perfect for xmas crafts. x

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  5. Wow! I can't believe how zingy the colours are - is that really food????

    If you drink enough does it make you turn rainbow coloured?

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  6. Great colours, now what are you going to do with them?

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  7. makes you wonder what colout it is turning your insides! lol! loving the berry blue! so nice and bright! :)

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  8. Cool! Or should I say kool?

    Looks like fun, and we are all dying - or should I say dyeing? - to find out what you make with the finished felt.

    Sorry for the bad puns. It's been a long day ;)

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  9. Curiosity got the better of me and I actually made up a jug to drink. To make it you add 'a cup of sugar'. We added 1/2 a cup and it was still super sweet - like drinking candy floss! I'm might make a leaf garland with the reds, yellows, orange and greens. Watch this space!

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  10. ooh thank you for sharing this, I've seen it happen on lots of American blogs. It's definitely something I'd love to have a go at doing and will follow your guidelines :-)
    Such great colours!
    xx

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  11. I've been wondering about kool-aid and wool blankets (I have a little bundle of them) after seeing silk dying tutorials. They look amazing!

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  12. I have SO enjoyed the tutorial and all of the comments! I'm American and we have grown up drinking Kool-Aid. Your tongue might turn a slight color if you don't add enough water but everything else will be ok! (your fingers might get stained while making the drink if you get them wet and then get the powder on your fingers.) It is very sweet! Kids love it! It's great with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Try this one day instead of the tea and biscuits! You'll be very American!
    Our packets or sachets of Kool-Aid cost about 10 cents a packet..very inexpensive so everyone can enjoy it here. Just about every house in America has Kool-Aid in it! We even have invisible Kool-Aid. Very tasty but not good for a dye project! (the fizzy Kool-Aid is not very good!)
    Thanks for brightening MY day and happy dyeing! I am going to start following your posts!

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