The hardest part about this project was actually finding Kool-Aid in the market. Apparently, where I live it is not a beverage of choice as it was quite hard to find and selection limited. I did manage to find four flavors (grape, cherry, lemonade and orange) that would give me the desired purple, red, yellow and orange. Full disclosure: I used to drink Kool-Aid in college as a mixer with vodka. It was quite good, actually. I don't think I'll ever drink it again though after seeing it dye these silks.
Instructions: You'll need: 100% silk scarves, Kool-Aid packets (I used 4 of each color), some vinegar and containers to dye. Alternatively you can use food coloring, which is what I used for the electric blue scarf. I bought the 35" x 35" silk Habotai Scarves from Dharma Trading (which is turning out to be where I'm getting nearly everything for holiday gifts this year) for just a few dollars each.
My instructions as usual are pretty minimal since I myself don't follow instructions when I craft, I just sort of put things together and see what happens. No measuring here and no boiling on the stove either! I soaked all five scarves in very hot tap water with a glug of vinegar in the pan and meanwhile dissolved my first color in hot tap water. I used 4 packs of koolaid for each scarf.
I used an aluminum turkey roasting pan for my dye bath which worked well because I was able to use very little water (which gives vibrant color) while still being able to easily stir it. I dropped the scarf in and stirred it around a bit with gloved hands. I let it sit in the water for about 2-3 minutes and then took it out and rinsed until the water ran clear which was suprisingly only a few seconds as well.
Here they are hanging in the bath. I was really stunned by how vibrant they dyed! The blue one was dyed using several drops of plain old food coloring in some water in the turkey pan. Easy as pie! No wait, much easier than pie. This whole project took about 15-20 minutes and I did it all with the chipmunk running around underfoot. Much more baby friendly dyeing than what I'm used to.
All dry! These are gifts for the chipmunk for the holidays this year. I really didn't believe the playsilks hype (plus, I thought he was too young for them) until I saw him fascinated with one of my printed silk scarves. He drags it around, watches it billow, plays peek-a-boo with it and hides things under it. Then I remembered my own love of the silk parachute that we played with in elementary school gym class. My favorite explanation of playsilks I've heard is that if you give a child a Superman costume he can only be Superman in it. If you give him a few different colored playsilks he can make up endless costumes. Or use a blue one to be water on the floor or a white one to be snow or wind or wings...the possibilities are endless. Plus, they are beautiful and fun to dye.