Dyeing Play Scarves

I decided to make some play scarves for C and her new baby cousin. I remember C loving scarves when she was a little baby–she loved to watch them move, hold them, etc. And now she loves to play dress up with them and build forts with them, and so they definitely get a lot of use.

The scarves I used for this project were 35 x 35, and I found them at Dharma Trading Post.

I followed the very helpful tutorial from Tried and True.

First, you soak the scarves in water with 2 tbsp of vinegar. I soaked them for an hour, but 30 minutes is supposed be enough.

Then I mixed Kool-Aid in 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of vinegar over low heat. I used 3┬ápackages of pink lemonade and played with adding a little blue and grape colors to make them slightly muted. This part was my favorite! (There’s an amazing chart of different mixtures here, but my shops didn’t have all the flavor packets listed.)

Why Kool-Aide? I really like the look of beet dye and other natural colorants, but apparently beet dye in particular isn’t very colorfast. I hear you can also use cake gel. Maybe next time I’ll try indigo, although in this case the silks definitely had to be pink.

After everything was mixed, I placed the silk in the pot (one at a time) and stirred it around. You’re supposed to let it sit for 10 minutes, but I was too excited and took them out after just a few minutes. The water started to turn clear as the color was absorbed, so I felt like they were done when that happened.

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Next you rinse the silk in cold water until the water is clear. The water was clear right away for me… maybe the extra long soak in vinegar made my silk extra absorbent?

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Then I hung them up to dry and watched as they sent magical silk blessings on the Oklahoma wind.

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And that’s all! They are soft and petal pink, and I’d kind of like to make more!

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