giovedì 7 marzo 2013

Dyeing string mohair with Kool-Aid: a TUTORIAL

I have been meaning to do some Kool-Aid dyeing  for some time now. I have done it plenty of times in the past but never kept a visual record. This time I took the time to take some pictures for a small tutorial.
This is how it works for me.
Beware: Kool-Aid works very fine with animal fibers like mohair, silk, alpaca....but IT DOES NOT WORK ON COTTON. The cotton backing of the mohair fabric will remain exactly the same.
What you need:
-Mohair fabric suitable to be dyed. I have used string mohair, which is mohair that has never been dyed or treated.You can also dye mohair that has already another colour, the end result will be a mix of the two colours.
-A big stainless steel pot. It must be quite big as the mohair should be move in it with ease.

- Kool -Aid of your colour choice. If you, like me, live in a country where Kool Aid is not available on the market you can easily buy it on the internet.
This is where I bought mine

- White vinegar. It helps fixing the dye on your fabric.

Step 1
- Put your mohair fabric into a plastic container filled with warm water. You can add some soap specific for washing wool fabric.

Step 2
-After about ten minutes rinse your fabric with warm water until there is no more soap residue.

Step 3
- Fill your stainless steel pot with water (about 4 liters), add two cups of vinegar into it, and put it on the stove until it boils.

Step 4
- When the water is boiling, add your Kool-Aid powder and mix well with a metal spoon until it is well dissolved.
I suggest to use one packet at a time.
Step 5
- Keep the stove on, but with a very low 'flame'. The boiling water must be kept hot, but it must be a gentle heat. You can now put your fabric into the water.
Step 6
- With your metal spoon, keep gently moving the fabric around the pot. From time to time, lift a portion out of the water to test how it is coming out.
The mohair sucks up the dye gradually. If you want the color to be more intense, you can always add more Kool-Aid when you see that the mohair has already sucked up all the colour from the water. You can see it because the water is almost back to its normal transparency.
Step 7
-When the mohair has reached the desired colour, take your pot from the stove and with your spoon lift out the fabric. Let it lay in the sink on a drainer for a while, until it has cooled a little.
Step 8
-Rinse your fabric thoroughly with warm water then squeeze it to let out as much water as you can. Do not wring it too tight though.
Here is your mohair, ready to be dried!
Step 9
-You can lay your mohair on an old towel and let it dry naturally, or if you have no patience like me, you can dry it in your drying machine. If you wish to use the machine, be sure to add a couple of old towels together with your mohair piece. I have found that my drying machine can 'feel' that the mohair is too wet, and stops doing its job. If I add towels, she works wonders!
Here is my super soft and bright mohair, ready for a new project!

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