How to Dye Yarn Naturally with Kool-Aid

I enjoy knitting with looms, and I prefer making completely unique scarves and hats. To make them unique, I dye my own yarn instead of buying the same ready made colors that everyone else is using. The color options are endless when using Kool-Aid brand drink mix to dye natural cotton yarn. The colors can be combined to create unique new hues. It is fun to experiment with color combinations. Use Kool-Aid drink mix to dye natural yarn, and start dyeing your skeins to create unique works of woven art.

Necessary Supplies

To dye natural yarn with Kool-Aid brand drink mix you will need packets of unsweetened Kool-Aid in colors of your choice. You will also need containers for holding the Kool-Aid dye, a foam brush for every color, hot water, plastic to protect your work surface and plastic wrap. You will also need cold salt water for setting the dye and a skein of natural cotton yarn. Combine a half cup of table salt for each quart of cold water. As a side note, I prefer cotton yarn over any other type. It absorbs Kool-Aid dye very well, and it is soft and incredibly warm.


Before getting started, lay out a sheet of plastic or an old vinyl tablecloth. Add one envelope of unsweetened Kool-Aid brand drink mix to every cup of hot water, and stir it until it completely dissolves. Set the containers of dye side-by-side if you plan on creating a multihued skein. A few different Kool-Aid colors can be used to dye a single skein of natural yarn.

Unroll the yarn and wind it into a circle about the size of a dinner plate. Place it on a sheet of plastic wrap. Use foam brushes to hand dye the natural yarn with various colors of the Kool-Aid brand drink mix.

After the yarn has been thoroughly brushed with Kool-Aid dye, fold the plastic wrap over on all sides. The dyed areas should not touch one another. Place the wrapped yarn on a microwave safe plate, and heat it until it is very warm but not extremely hot. The heat will help set the dye.

Remove the packaged yarn from the microwave, and carefully unwrap it to avoid the hot steam. Immediately place the dyed yarn in a container of cold salt water to further set the dye. Thoroughly rinse the skin under cool running water, and press it out by hand. Do not ring out the yarn to remove the water. Hang it over a line in a warm location, and allow it to drip dry naturally.

After the dyed yarn is completely dry, wind it into a ball. It can be used to create anything that you would usually make with yarn. Best of all, the finished item will be completely unique.


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