Thursday, March 27, 2014

AIR, Dyeing, roving, antique drink mixes

Friend Annie sent me three ancient packets of drink mix, found in the back of a kitchen cabinet somewhere, since I'd indicated this is a good dye material.  I wouldn't ever drink it, but for dyeing it's fine. Like white bread -- great for making playdough for little kids, and great bead material, but not actual food.

Anyway, I took a hank of Spanish merino roving, and proceeded to use all three packets at once, hoping for a variegated effect, since in order to have a complete saturation you'd need about ten packets.  It takes a lot.  

Proceeded to put the drink crystals into a ziploc bag, add water, and roving, squashed them up and down a bit to move the color around, then microwaved for 10 minutes.  At the end of that time, when you (proceeding with caution, boiling steam hisses out) open the package with tongs, only clear water remains, so all the color has been transferred.

Then you wash it, largely to get rid of the high sugar content in this case, then rinse 

and squeeze it out, and drain it 

enamel is good at this stage, to avoid any metal rusting, then put it to dry.  I use a metal lid set on a heat register upstairs, for gentle continuous warmth, kitties permitting.

this is great fun.When this is dry, couple of days, I'll spin it up and it will find a home in the big tapestry.

The only downside I can see, or rather smell, is that the house smells like a drinkmix factory for a while.  But since it's nontoxic, it's safe in the microwave, and there are no noxious fumes coming off it.

Did I mention that I'm keeping track of the donors to the tapestry project?  so far it's Judy T. beads, Ash upcoming fibers, Annie dye material, Paula fleece, and everyone encouragement!


  1. I've learned something else I didn't know! I'm curious to know whether the fiber ends up scented with the drink mix and would it retain the colour if washed later on?

  2. The smell dissipates after a while. You can't tell that the handspun I dyed this way a few years ago was a food type dye. I don't wash mine, but I know people who dye yarn to make clothing with,so I guess it must be fast. I don't use a mordant with this, as it's not washable, but perhaps you need to to make it fast. I expect vinegar would work.

  3. not came across this method before mind you have never seen drink crystals foe sale either but will keep my eye open, would like to have a go on fabric too


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