Elkus Ranch Environmental Education Center
University of California
Elkus Ranch Environmental Education Center

Dying Raw Wool with Kool Aid

Kool-Aid is easy to find, inexpensive, non-toxic and available in many colors!

Materials/Supplies:

  • Small handful of light colored wool from Elkus Ranch for each student
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Warm water
  • Bowls or buckets for washing wool
  • Unsweetened Kool-Aid in a variety of flavors (one packet for 10 students)
  • Sandwich size zip close plastic bags (one per student)

Directions:

  • Fill one bowl or bucket with warm soapy water.  Add clean, warm water to another bowl/bucket.   
  • Submerge small handfuls of wool in the soapy water, then rinse in clean water at least 3 times. 
  • When wool is clean, pick out and discard any remaining hay or other debris.  Squeeze out most of the water but leave wool damp. 
    Beautiful colors!
    Beautiful colors!
  • Write name on plastic bag and place damp wool inside. 
  • Add a small amount of Kool-Aid to each bag and seal securely.
  • With the bag zipped closed, work the powdered dye through the damp wool to distribute the color evenly.  This takes some time and effort as the dye will be more of a paste than a liquid.  If it is too dry, add a small amount of water.  If too wet, add a small amount of Kool-Aid. 
  • Leave the dyed wool in the bags overnight to fully saturate the color into the wool.
  • The next day, remove the wool and place on top of the plastic bag to dry overnight.  Dye can stain hands and clothes at this point. 
  • Once wool is completely dry you will have sweet smelling, beautiful colors of wool to use for weaving, felting, making colorful sheep, or other craft projects. 

 

 

Webmaster Email: elkusranch@ucanr.edu