This is something that has been on my to-do list since before Christmas. I bought the silks from Dhama Trading Company, but was a bit overwhelmed about actually dyeing them. Finally, the night before Easter, I sucked it up and just did it. And it was EASY.
So this post is designed to get YOU over the hurdle if you’ve been hemming and hawing about dyeing play silks too… just do it. It’s NOT that scary.
I dyed some of them with kool-aid (3 packages per silk), but the yellow one was with gel food dye. Both worked really well. I will be trying some more colors with the food coloring later. (I have a few more silks to dye.)
So how do you dye play silks using kool-aid or food coloring?
- Boil some water in a huge pot, and glug in a good amount of white vinegar, enough to be able to smell it in there. Throw in your silks and give them a good stir. Let them get all vinegar-y.
Meanwhile, mix some dye in big bowls or containers. I used my serving bowls. Just use hot water, and dissolve in the kool-aid or food dye. Don’t worry about the bowl holding a whole lot of water. You’ll see why…
- Throw one silk into each bowl of dye. Then ladle the hot vinegar-water over the silks, until the bowls are full. Stir the silks around so that they get to soak up as much dye as they want. If you don’t stir as much, you’ll get a more mottled look.
More stirring/room/water = more even dye job. My toddler doesn’t care if it’s mottled-looking or not.
- After a little while, the silks will have soaked up most or all of the color. You’ll be able to tell. One at a time, rinse out the silks in cold water, until the water runs clear. Darker colors will take forever. The yellow and peachy-coral were a lot faster.
- Hang your silks to dry, or if you don’t have time to wait for them to dry because you dyed them at night and want to give them to your child in the morning, use an iron to dry them.
Yup, I just ironed mine until all the moisture steamed out of them. My ironing board cover is tinted pink now, from the red one (I guess even though I rinsed it FOREVER it still had some “loose” dye) but that’s okay because I was planning to make another cover for it anyway.
You’ll want to wash these separately the first couple of times, but they’re good to go for playing! Enjoy!