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Topic: Can I dye cotton yarn?  (Read 11814 times)
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heygirl
« on: March 29, 2004 06:14:36 PM »

 I was just wondering if I could dye cotton yarn. I bought some for like $.84 and I don't really like the color anymore and my mom bought me a really cool kit form QVC and it has directions on how to knit with sequence. I just wanted to know if it was possible to change the color. My mom said I probably could but I just wanted to double check before I went and did anything where I could possibally ruin the yarn. So could I dye cotton yarn with Kool-Aid? And do you have any suggestions to any other dyes or techniques that work better/ Could someone please point out a link that would be helpful or tell me!

      Thanks in advance!
                      Alyssa
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thixle
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2004 06:23:08 PM »

Cotton is one of the easiest fibers to dye! Hooray! Depending on what color it is now, you can definately just use Kool-Aid, tea, coffee, pretty much anything that will leave a "stain" on other clothes. If the cotton is white or off-white, Kool-Aid will come out a pastel color (use a few packets of powder to just enough water to cover the cotton, soak at least overnight). If the cotton is darker to begin with, then the Kool-Aid will stain it with a hint of color... Rit Dye (cheap) will work wonders, too- giving fairly vibrant colors. With just a small batch of yarn, it's not really worth it to go with special order dyes.

Play around with what you have at home, I know that you'll be able to come up with something from the exciting results!
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emling
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2004 06:55:26 AM »

I read on knitty that Kool-Aid doesn't dye cotton well, but I have no experience with it.  Has anyone tried to dye cotton with Kool-Aid? I imagine, given how badly it stains, that it would at least give you a little color!
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NoisyNorah
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2004 12:24:04 PM »

look for dyes that people use for tie-dying.  We used to use a company called Grateful Dyes back in the day to give us those really bright Grateful Dead-type tie-dyes.  It looks like this company sells them now: http://www.bestdye.com/Default.asp

The problem is that they sell in bulk.  you might want to start with Rit, but if you get enough takers, have a yarn-dying party.  We would dissolve the dye in squirt bottles and squeeze it on our tied-up t-shirts.  I'm sure it would work for a hank of yarn, too.  Just an idea for a summer project.
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heygirl
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2004 12:26:57 PM »

 Thanks. I will wait until my mom gets home then I will ask her to take me to the store Or I will ride my bike!  I think we might have some tye-dye in the basement. ???I will keep you posted on my results!
« Last Edit: March 30, 2004 12:28:15 PM by heygirl » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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beccajo
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2004 10:48:18 AM »

I used to dye cotton t-shirts, towels, etc. using a kit like this one-

http://www.dharmatrading.com/html/eng/2170-AA.shtml

-when I was a camp counselor in college.  The towels and t's are still as bright as they were when I first dyed them!

You soak the natural fibers in soda ash, which kind of breaks down the fibers, then you dye them and let them sit for 24 hours, then rinse and wash like normal!  You can get dye from most local art/craft stores that have a fibers section. It's kinda pricey, yes, but it's permanent and a little goes a looooooong way.  A kit like this is a good place to start, and under $15.  

Rit is nice for non-washables, but I just dyed some costumes with it and by the last performance (after 4 washings) they had faded a lot.  If you're making a hat or something, I'd be worried that the Rit might bleed!  Kool-aid will bleed for SURE and you'll end up with a cherry-red band around your forehead, but your yarn and hair will smell like a dream Wink
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kategirl
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2004 12:23:34 PM »

hmmm...  but do you think kool-aid might be ok for, say...  yarn for a cd player cozy?  it shouldn't be getting wet or anything...

I have some boring beige cotten kitchen yarn that I got a while ago to do something specific with, but then ended up not making it.  I'm hoping that maybe I can dye it and make some cool little thing with it!
« Last Edit: March 31, 2004 12:31:39 PM by kategirl » THIS ROCKS   Logged

heygirl
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2004 12:32:42 PM »

 I tried it last night. It turned out okay. I tested a small section. The yarn was like a bright baby blue yarn, white, yellow and pink. I was going to make my cousin a blanket but she already had one. i used strawberry. THe only problem is that it is a few diffrent shade of strawberry. I am going to make a bag (probably) with the yarn and sequence.  I followed the instructions that someine posted a few days ago!
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beccajo
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« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2004 12:36:33 PM »

Strangely enough, here's a nice little tutorial from a few days ago about microwaving kool-aid dyed yarn!

http://www.craftster.org/yabbse/index.php?board=22;action=display;threadid=4268

 I've e-mailed the author to ask about bleeding, but I had a personal experience where I didn't nuke the stuff and it did indeed bleed on me....I smelled all nice and fruity but looked like i'd dunked my head in a vat of dye...... but......if you're going for that look.....hahahaha.

And it sounds like the yarn you are trying to dye already has some color to it....you will probably be 'overdyeing' areas in that case and won't get a solid color out of it unless you use a really intense darker color.....for instance, if you try to dye a yellow yarn with blue dye, you'll get a greeny colored yarn.  If you use that procion fiber reactive dye though it really does dye over almost anything.......

I'd love to see photos of how your yarn turns out!!!

« Last Edit: March 31, 2004 12:42:11 PM by beccajo » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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heygirl
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2004 01:29:51 PM »

 Thanks.  ;DI ended up using tye-dye to do it. I ran out of blue so I have blue, green, red and yellowish colors.

 Kategirl: If you dye the yarn, go out and bye a tye dye kit. I got a lot out of the one that I got at Wal-mart. I did a fitted twin sheet, a top sheet, a pair of pants and my yarn. I had 6 little skiens about 57 grams or 2 ounces.

Beccajo: I will try to figure out how to post a picture!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

"Enjoy the ice cream while it's on your plate."
                      - Thorton Wilder
(Personally I have never heard of Thorton but I like that quote!)
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