Food Coloring or Kool Aid?

[CENTER] I’ve recently decided that I’m going to start dyeing my own yarn.

I’ve looked up different tips & videos & it seems like the most popular methods are either using food coloring or Kool Aid.

Which do you recommend for a beginner?
I did see that you have to use white vinegar if you vuse food coloring.

Also, I saw someone using a syringe piece (without the needle) & I want to try that! Anyone know of where I can find that, though?:woohoo: [/CENTER]

I haven’t dyed yarn, but I believe which one you use depends on the fiber content.

I have quite a few of them from injectable turkey marinade we use when we deep fry the turkey. If you PM me your address, I’ll drop one in the mail to you if you want.

That’s so amazing of you!! I just PMed you. Thank you!! :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :cheering: :woohoo:

I have some natural fingering wool/nylon yarn that I want to try dying. I’ve only seen videos for using food coloring and it was really, really interesting. What did you find about using Kool Aid? Would you share a link or two? I’ve not been very successful finding info on it so far. I think food coloring might be cheaper. :shrug: Oh, the videos I saw were for cooking the yarn on the stove, does Kool Aid require cooking?

I’ve seen a few videos. So far, I’m learning:

  1. Kool Aid doesn’t need vinegar, food coloring does.
  2. Kool Aid doesn’t have to be boiled. I saw them wrapping it in plastic wrap & either steaming on the stove or just microwaved.
  3. Using a syringe or bottles (like condiment ones from restaurants).

Here is what I’ve found:

Most helpful videos:

Kool Aid has ascorbic acid or something like that would do the same as vinegar. Thanks for the links. I’ll enjoy them. :slight_smile:

I’ve read on blogs, that the Kool- Aid dyed yarn smells, well, like Kool-Aid. Lol.

I saw that, too!! Yet another reason I think I want to use Kool Aid. Lol. I really want to dye some rainbow yarn or cotton candy like yarn.

No problem! Let me know if you decide to venture into it. I have to wait to buy the items to do so for a while because I’m unfortunately in between jobs right now. :nails: :nails:

I have some food colors (I think, or I can steal them from my daughter :teehee: ) and vinegar. I was glad to find out I can use the same pot I cook spaghetti in for dying. Some food dyes will be marked down after Easter.

Oops,I realize now you said Koolaid or food coloring not dyes.some fibers dye better with chemical dye I’ve heard. Good experiment for you. :teehee:

My friends who dye yarn with chemical dyes keep the tools for dying separate from the cooking tools. I’ve heard hem talk about crockpots, double boilers and stuff.

Oh, geez… now I wanna try it!!!

koolaid & food coloring are great when you are dyeing protein fiber like wool or silk. Cellulose fibers (like cotton) need a different type of dye.

Yes, food coloring needs acid to act as the mordant. Like someone said, koolaid contains ascorbic acid, so vinegar isn’t needed.

If you are going to be doing a lot of dyeing, you might want to check into getting proper dyes. They are actually cheaper in the long run. The best price I’ve found is from Dharma Trading

Have fun!!

I don’t want to use anything that could be hazardous. I have cats & a dog that get into EVERYTHING.

That’s why I would prefer using Kool Aid or food coloring. I think, for my first attempt, I’m going to try food coloring & boiling.

Thanks, mullerslanefarm. :thumbsup: Great site you linked to. I doubt I’ll ever do a lot of dying my own yarn but the food color experiments look like they’d be fun to do with grandkids. I never intended to knit so much so I will definitely keep buying dyes in mind just in case it turns into a habit too. :slight_smile:

If you decide to go with commercial dyes, just take reasonable precautions. You probably already have things like detergents and foods your pets shouldn’t get into.

I’ve never tried either with yarn…although my roommate did try to dye my hair with kool-aid in college…didn’t work out too well :rofl:

I’ve only ever dyed yarn once for a knitting project and just went with regular RIT dye. I leaned the hard way that acrylic yarn does not dye well at all. I ened up going with %100 alpaca wool, which dyed great, but was a different texture to the rest of my scarf…oh well, learn for next time…

Also I dyed the yarn in my kitchen with the fan going. Didn’t bother my 2 cats at all, if you are concerned for your animal friends.

Yes. But they’re in cabinets. Lol. I’m referring to the dyes as they’re being used, not stored.

The only real danger when dyeing comes when using mordants, other than acid (like vinegar or citric acid) or alum. When you start working with mordants such as chrome or copper, you need special equipment.

Unless your pets get up on the counter or stove, you should have no problems.

RIT dye is actually two dyes in one … one for your protein fibers and one for your cellulose fibers … none for the acrylics! You do a lot of rinsing when using RIT dye as the dye not for the fiber you are using needs to be rinsed out.

Easter egg dyes work real well also … they do need vinegar.

Just be sure when you are dyeing that you use hot water, but not boiling (or even simmering when using fiber that felts easily).