Originally Posted by GrumpyGramma
I have some natural fingering wool/nylon yarn that I want to try dying. I've only seen videos for using food coloring and it was really, really interesting. What did you find about using Kool Aid? Would you share a link or two? I've not been very successful finding info on it so far. I think food coloring might be cheaper. Oh, the videos I saw were for cooking the yarn on the stove, does Kool Aid require cooking?
Food coloring is an acid dye, which is what's in Kool Aid and dyes for frosting.
Any dye you find in food is acid dye. Not all acid dye is food-grade, however. I recommend food-grade dyes because they're safer to use.
All acid dyes require acid to set, and work better with heat. When I dye with acid dyes, I always heat on the stove.
Kool Aid has ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in it, but other dyes will need acid added. White vinegar is the easiest to find in a grocery store, but you can also get non-food-grade ascorbic acid from a store that sells dyes.
I promised something to someone who wanted purple, and I couldn't find purple yarn, so I used 100% undyed merino wool and dyed it with grape Kool Aid. It turned out beautiful, but she wanted to know why it smelled like grapes. Three years later, it still smelled like grapes. She actually liked it, luckily.