Lab Report: Best Methodology to Dye Yarn; Microwave


On my knitting/crocheting adventure, I stumbled upon dyeing yarn with Kool Aid. When I went to the store to get yarn. I could have sworn I got 100% wool. Guess what, it wasn’t. It was 100% cotton. I thought, eh it should still work. I found this blog that did a lab report on the most effective way to dye cotton since cotton doesn’t take up dye so well (at all). One thing I found interesting about that lab report, is that there were two samples. One was pre-soaked in vinegar and the other sample was not. In the cotton experiment it was evident that pre-soaking it made a difference. I did this experiment to see if it would have the same effect on wool. When I dyed my yarn I pre-soaked it and it worked nicely. I wanted to see if soaking it really mattered.


Thick and Thin 100% Wool

-sixteen 5” pieces of wool. Half spun tightly, half roving. 100% wool.
-glass cups
-(kitchen) measuring tools
-a tablespoon of vinegar
-about 3.5 cups of water
-whatever number of Kool Aid packets and flavors you want, but I used 2 packets (Berry Twist and Piña Pineapple).


I first took eight wool pieces and put four in one glass and the other half in another glass. I then poured half a cup of water into each glass. I then added half a table spoon of vinegar. I let it soak for about 15 minutes.

In the meanwhile, I created my Kool Aid mixture. I wanted to see if the concentration of the dye would do anything so I made a packet to cups ratio of 2:1 for the Berry Twist and a 1:1 ratio of Piña Pineapple.

When that was done, I took the yarn out of the glasses and emptied the glasses. Then I put the yarn back in them.

Now, I put half a cup of water into each glass with each group of yarn in a glass.  I put 2 tablespoons of the “Berry Twist dye” in one of the pre-soaked glasses and in a non-pre-soaked glass (Yes, I made up a word). I then repeated the same with Piña Pineapple in the other two cups that did not have dye.

I then put all of the glasses into the microwave without covering them; I wanted to make sure they were all getting exposed to heat in the same way. I put them in the microwave for 3 minutes, monitoring, of course, that none of the water boiled.

After that I took them out and let them sit until the yarn took up all the dye. I separated the pre-soaked from the non-pre-soaked yarns on paper towels to dry.


A few things that I noticed is that the pre-soaked yarn seemed to start taking up the Kool Aid before I put it in the microwave which was interesting. I thought heat was a necessity for the yarn to soak up the dye.

Another thing I noticed is that the samples did not show differences after I microwaved them. If you were to move the cups around, I wouldn’t be able to tell which is which.


Pre-soaked Yarn

Non-pre-soaked Yarn


Something I think I should figure out is if letting it soak for longer will have an effect on it or not. After doing this little experiment, I realized that vinegar doesn’t seem to add to the dyeing process or take away since the product were both the same.


One thought on “Lab Report: Best Methodology to Dye Yarn; Microwave

  1. Pingback: Plant Dyes « Tales of Steven

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