To Dye For

Well, the dying of the stinky wool came off without a hitch… well, except for the unexpected colors.  We did two natural dyes, bougainvillea and onion skin, in addition to purple and red Kool-Aid.  The kids all broke up the bougainvillea flowers and we boiled them for 30 minutes. 

We strained out the flowers and simmered the wool for another 30 minutes.  We did the same with the Walmart onion skins. The night before dying I went in and cleaned up the yellow onion bins for the nice produce people at Wally’s World.  I gathered a whole bag of free skins!


The Kool-Aid dyes we cooked in the microwave for 8 minutes with the wool and then let them cool to room temperature.  Here are the masterpieces.

Guess which one was the hot pink bougainvillea?  The yellow onion skin?  The purple Kool-Aid?  and the red Kool-Aid?  Ok, the Kool-Aids were easy.  But the other two are the opposite of what you’re thinking.  The pale yellow one is the hot pink flowers and the deeper brown one is the onion skin.

So, why in the world did we do this?  And what in the world did we learn?  I figured out tonight that our wool is from a corriedale mixed sheep (whatever that is!). We learned that vinegar breaks down dye and makes it spread evenly.  We discovered that pink flowers make pale yellow die…. go figure.  The sheep and weaving unit is under the Godly character trait of Trust.  Sheep really do have to trust the Shepherd, just as we trust our heavenly Shepherd. We also got this wool business out of our systems so as not to have to go through it again.  Ever.  Forever.  Forever and eternity.

Actually, I’m addicted to pulling little balls of wool over my kitchen sink … it’s therapeutic.  And I have about 50% of the smelly wool left to wash the pick.  Yes, I’m considering it.  Remember, people, I said THERAPEUTIC!  And I fell in love with the brown dye from the onion and the passionate purple from the blue Kool-Aid.  Sorry, Jennie.  Now, to make a drop spindle and have at it.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Responses to “To Dye For”

  1. tanya Says:

    Did the dye process get rid of the smell like you’d hoped?

  2. Jennie C Says:

    I love how you obtained free onion skins – rocking idea. I think spinning will be therapeutic, too.

  3. Jill Says:

    Oh, I love the color from the onion skins as well. Does it make the wool smell like onions though??

  4. rixgal Says:

    As for smelly questions…. I get the dried wool back tomorrow. I left it and ran to drama practice. I’ll be sure to let you know… I’m curious as well.

  5. rixgal Says:

    I wanted to throw some french bread and grated moz cheese in the onion water…..

  6. Michelle Says:

    ^_^ Can you tell me how exactly to make the dye using Kool Aid…I’d love to try this….and by the way…I love your blog. I came across it by chance when I was surfing the net for something…glad I found it. ^_^

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: