KOOL DYEING Nancy is a lovely lady who comes and stays in our apartments two or three times a year. Her home is in Florida U.S.A., but Norfolk is her second home, and while she is here she transforms No. 12 into her own homely little nest, with her bits and pieces that she leaves here between visits.This time I emailed Nancy and asked if she could bring with her some sachets of Kool Aid. This is a concentrated drink powder, artificially coloured and flavoured, which makes up to 2 quarts of flavoured drink ..that is more than 2 litres!
I had heard that lots of the American girls use Kool Aid to dye ribbons, lace and fabric, so I thought I ought to give it a go.
Nancy found she had trouble buying individual sachets. They are mostly done up in packs. The shop assistants told her that this is because the kids target them for shoplifting....it is easier to hide a single sachet. Evidently the young ones have taken to using them to dye their hair!!!
Anyway, Nancy managed to bring me about a dozen colours/flavours, and I had a session dyeing, using some pieces of silk.
I put a bit of powder into a cup, added a trickle of vinegar, then just enough boiling water to dissolve the powder, but not to dilute it too much. I then poured it over the fabric, with a folded piece of silk from the end of the bolt to catch the excess.
The fabric took the dye straight away, and almost none could be rinsed out. But to be sure, I zapped the silk in the microwave in 10 and 20 second bursts until it was almost dry, then finished it off with the iron.
The exercise brought back memories of a time when I was a teenager. I was going to a big Youth Rally, and wanted a pair of green gloves to match what I was wearing. So I got a pair of old white gloves and "dyed"them with green food colouring. They looked quite good.
But half way through the evening, it got quite warm, and my hands were feeling sweaty. So I removed the gloves.....to reveal bright green hands!! It is one of those embarrassing moments that only seem funny after several decades have passed.
The Kool Aid experiment was somewhat more successful.
The piece below in the picture is part of the scrap I had underneath to catch the excess dye. This piece contains about 6 colours/flavours. You can still smell them!
It is a bit crumpled, but the colours are wonderful. But just imagine what it does the those kids' insides, let alone their behaviour!