Dyeing Cotton at home with children.

Posted by Douglas Gray on 12th Feb 2015

How dyeing Cotton will depend on the type of dye you decide to use and how long you want the dye to remain unfaded. The industrial path for the dyeing of cotton material is very different than what would be used by a homemaker. The exact process is determined by just what you need the final result to be.

If a mother or parent wants to help teach their children about dyeing cotton material there is a non-toxic solution that is also fun. As every parent knows one of the worst and hardest stains to get rid of is from cheery and grape Kool Aid. Both of these use a food dye to achieve the desired color. You can also use this same material to dye an article of clothing. 

Cotton Dress

The first step is to protect all items from the dye that you do not want a color change in. This will require plastic on the floors and gloves on your hands. An apron is also recommended. The mixing of 1 packet of Kool Aid with 250 mL of hot water is next. Once the powdered drink mix is completely dissolved it should be poured into the washing machine that has already been filled with hot water. If you do not want to use your washing machine for this process, a bucket or other container can be used. Once the dye has been introduced to the water, then the addition of the cotton items should occur. 

With the use of a stick, push the clothing article into the water and ensure all of the trapped air is released so the entire item is covered with the dyed water. Once this occurs let it soak for about 15 minutes. Again with the stick bring the material to the surface and look at the color. The longer you allow it to soak, the deeper the color will be. If the color is not dark enough with just one Kool Aid packet, the addition of one or more can be done but again make sure it is dissolved in hot water first before adding it to the container with the cotton item submerged. 

Once the desired color is achieved take it two shades darker. Cotton items that are dyed appear to be darker when wet but will be lighter in appearance once the material dries. Once the dying process is completed, the cotton material should be rinsed twice just like in a normal washing cycle from your machine. You can drip dry the item, but using the dryer on hot will help to bake the dye into the cloth. 

This dyeing process can also make use of other dyes you have around your home. They include colored gelatin, tea and coffee or anything else that you know stains the clothes of your family members. Another word of advice is that the first time your home-dyed item is worn, some of the dye might transfer to the skin or other clothing items the person is wearing.