Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dyeing Your Own Silk Veil With Kool-Aid!

Supplies that I used in this project:

  • PACKETS/CONTAINERS OF KOOL-AID THAT REQUIRE THAT SUGAR BE ADDED- This is SOOO important. Do NOT use the sugar free Kool-Aid or Kool-Aid that already has the sugar added. You want the citric acid and color, not the sugar which would make a royal sticky mess.

  1.  Rubber band fabric to separate areas of color if you're wanting clear demarcations between color shifts. I wanted a rainbow centered on my veil so I pinched the fabric at the center of the length, on one edge and placed a band at about 8" down, then continued banding down the length of the now sort of folded/pleated fabric. You could start at one end/corner  instead of in the middle to create a horizontal gradient or a diagonal gradient. You can also experiment with sprinkling dye into place for a textured visual effect.
  2. Soak silk in apple cider vinegar. For this step I filled a mop bucket with vinegar and tossed my fabric in, poked it down so it was all submerged and left it there while I prepared the rest of my stuff.
  3. Cover counter with long piece of cling wrap. I used one LONG piece that was about 6-8' long. This kept most of the Kool-Aid off my counter and later trapped the moisture and dye with the fabric while steaming.
  4. Wring out silk and lay out on top of cling wrap. You don't want the fabric to be so full of vinegar that it can't absorb the Kool-Aid mixture. Bone dry, and the dye can't travel, too wet and the dye can't be absorbed.
  5. Mix first Kool-Aid color with water (cherry). The idea is to make a thick syrup consistency. You could mix them all at once in separate cups but I was using my one liquid measuring cup so I just rinsed between colors.
  6. Pour from measuring cup over fabric section. Be sure the drink powder is well mixed so that the liquid is of equal dye strength.
  7. Scrunch to distribute dye. I just kind of worked the dye in a bit with my gloved fingers.
  8. Mix, pour, scrunch each additional color

  1. Fold cling wrap around fabric like a burrito and coil up, leaving a vent at end of coil for steam

  1. Microwave for 1 minute, let sit one minute (total 4 minutes of heating time)

  1. Carry VERY HOT fabric/plastic to wash machine filled with cold water and 2 caps of synthrapol
  2.  Put untwisted end of plastic/fabric into machine, uncoil, and shake fabric gently from plastic into machine. The liquid dye will be pouring out with the fabric so the idea is to keep all the mess inside the wash machine to avoid awful cleanup chores ;)
  3. Run normal cold water cycle
  4. Air dry silk and then iron with steam on the silk setting. This should help set the dye.


  1. Thank you, you are the best :D

    Only one question... what is synthrapol and where do I get it?

  2. AJ, I updated the post to have a link to the synthrapol detergent available through Dharma Trading company in California. It's used to remove oils, grease, sizing, soil and loose dye from fabrics. This is also helpful if you have a garment that is bleeding in the wash. Might have to treat it a few times but it should help :)


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