Sunday, May 4, 2008

dying fabric with koolaid technique

A friend sent me an article about dying silk with Koolaid. I had been making paper and trying to come up with some natural looking pages for a book I was constructing as a thank you gift for a fellow artist. Harder than you think. Knowing wet is always about 20% darker than the dried piece will look. Any hoo, she passed along this really cool technique which I am passing along to you.


2 yards of muslim

wash before using if it has sizing on it

cotton sewing thread

a wax resist crayon

2 or more packets of koolaid without sugar

rubber bands

glass bowls that are microwave safe

Step 1: Cut fabric to desired size. I cut a bunch of different sizes to try out.

Step 2: Fold and twist your fabric. Secure with rubber band in the areas you want to stay white. like tie dying in the old days.

Step 3: Prepare koolaid. Pour in two or three bowls. One bowl for each color. Add enough water to dissolve water and cover your fabric. DO NOT ADD SUGAR. Heat bowl in microwave for 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool for 2 minutes then microwave again till water is clear or you have gotten the color you want.

Step 4: Remove fabric from bowl. Let cool. Rinse in warm water and remove rubber bands.

Step 5: Add fabric to second color of koolaid. Repeat process. When finished lay flat to dry.

Tips: I used the lightest color first. Then I dried fabric and used the wax crayon to write words and numbers on the parts I wanted to. Then retied with rubber band and cotton string to redye.
You can use this technique with silk, also.
Just play and have fun!

1 comment:

Beth Wheeler said...

LOVE your blog and especially the way you use altered photographs! Found it quite by accident while researching techniques for dyeing with KoolAid (your May 4 entry).

You refer to a wax resist crayon in the materials list. Would you mind describing the application and removal of the wax, please? Do you apply the crayon on both sides of the fabric to prevent contact with the food coloring? Do you then remove it by ironing between two paper grocery bags?

Do you use only unbleached muslin? Other online instructions indicate bleached muslin won't bond with the colorant.

Thank you for your input.


Beth Wheeler
author of Altered Photo Artistry