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Tutorial Thursday – How to Dye Wool using Kool-Aid.


Hi. I am Donni of Fairyfolk and my blog is The Magic Onions.
I was working on a needle felting project and needed orange wool. Alas, I had none. NONE! Three boxes full of different shades of green, but NO orange, anywhere! Ordering from my online source would have taken a week… much too long for an impatient like me! What could I do but dye my own? Kool-Aid to the rescue.
Kool-Aid is a great light and color-fast dye for protein fibers; wool, silk, alpaca. (Sorry, it does not dye cotton or synthetic fabric.) It comes in an array of fun, bright colors and, best of all, it does not need a mordant to set the dye and so can be used as a dye with no prior preparation.
All we needed was a glass or porcelain dish, three packets of orange Kool-Aid, natural wool roving and hot water.

K poured the Kool-Aid into our dish.
We added about 4 cups of very hot water and stirred to dissolve the Kool-Aid.
We carefully soaked our white wool in the Kool-Aid, gently submerging it in the orange liquid. We were careful not to agitate the wool too much as this would have felted our wool.
We left it to soak up the orange color.
After about an hour, it was clear that the wool had soaked up most of the orange.
We took it out of the Kool-Aid and rinsed it gently in cool water. Then we hung it on the line to dry. Look what a bright orange it became…
When the orange wool was dry, I got down to some serious needle felting and… Pumpkin Gnome was born!


In South Africa we have a saying, ‘n boer maak a plan’. Translated, it means ‘a farmer makes a plan’. So, next time you are frustrated because you have to delay a project as you don’t have the materials you need, think again… perhaps, with a little preparation, you can turn what youdo have into what you need.

Blessings and magic.

6 thoughts on “Tutorial Thursday – How to Dye Wool using Kool-Aid.

  1. What a great tutorial and lesson, too! Lovely! Thanks so much!!

  2. Wow! It's a great shade of orange, too. When I originally saw your Pumpkin Gnome, I never would have guessed the wool was dyed with Kool-Aid.

    Lydia Purpuraria is the patron saint of dyers, by the way.

  3. Love this post! Great pictures and the pumpkin is wonderful!

  4. What a beautiful bright orange and your gnome is so cute!

  5. And I bet it smells great!

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