Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Wool Dyeing Experiment

I've been really wanting to do more wool dyeing and everyone posts how great the colors come out. So I went to my local Kroger and picked up every color they have of Drink Aid, because I'm a cheap bastard and they were on sale 10 for $1.00 (but they only had 9 flavors, so I doubled one up for good measure). And because I have no idea what color "Tropical Punch" would be (amoung others) I decided to do a little experiment to see what kind of results I would get. Here are my very scientific results. Go ahead and laugh - I know I'm a huge dork.

1. Soak 9 pieces of wool 12 inches long in warm water (with a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar)

2. Mix all 9 colors: Mix 1/4 teaspoon (or 1 ml) of Drink Aid to 2 Tablespoons ( or 30 ml) of water. So, that's a 1/30 Drink Aid mixture. All using the same containers (small drink glasses)

3. Add wool to each container

4. Begin microwaving to get wool to soak in color. Here's the tricky part. For larger batches, you can microwave your wool for longer, but because I have so little water, it began to boil very quickly. So, I microwaved each for 30 seconds, then 15 second intervals until done. You will know it's done when the water is milky white (with sugar I'm assuming). See photo (glass on right is done, glass on left is not)

WARNING: microwaves do produce explosive boiling water - this is not a hoax. (see link) however, with wool and all this color in it, it should not be a problem. Regardless - be very careful! The glasses and the water can get very hot, plus you don't want your wool to felt, so take your time.

5. Next, I rinsed each peice of wool with cool water (being careful not to agitate the wool) and blotted dry in a towel, then set out to air dry.

Here is a chart indicating the control number, Drink Aid Flavor, and Total Microwave time

#FlavorTime (seconds)
5Pink Lemon45
6Fruit Punch135
8Black Cherry150
9Tropical Punch150
10Raspberry Reaction (Kool-Aid)90
11Wild Watermelon Kiwi (Kool-Aid)120
12Berry Blue (Kool-Aid)120

Here are the resulting colors:

And now with the sample crocheted up into tiny blocks (this seems to represent the color better):

** I did a second batch with some additional colors.

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