Monday, June 21, 2010

Dying Playsilks with food coloring

We had a handmade gifts only birthday party to go to this past week (love those!)
and true to my usual style - I didn't get to it until .... the morning of.

Right. I'd had grand plans to dye a play silk, *and* make a birthday crown (with Big Miss A's help of course :) ) Then I didn't have any koolaid - which is normally what I use to dye play silks. I buy a whole bunch of silks at once to have on hand for occasions like this. My next thought was to use food coloring, but alas - my little scientist had used it all up. Fortunately tho I discovered one partial bottle of green he had missed

I hadn't ever tried food coloring before - and I didn't have much of it, so I tried a new method.

I folded up the playsilk and then rolled it and wrapped a few elastics around (you can see this above) Then I handed my daughter the green coloring and let her go to town until it was all gone. I sprinkled a little water on to make sure it soaked through. Then I realized that while the koolaid is plenty acidic without vinegar, the food coloring wasn't and the color wouldn't set properly without it, - so I went for the vinegar.... but ..... the scientist again. Hmm. Ok - apple cider vinegar it is. He'd gotten to that too, sigh. There was just enough tho - I just poured it straight on until it was soaked through. Looking back, I suspect it would have been better - held more of the color if I hadn't sprinkled the water on - the vinegar would have spread it just fine. I opened up the scarf and popped it into a steamer pot to steam while I ran around getting ready until I remembered it again ;)

A quick rinse, and into the dryer on low it went.

Not bad considering we had only one color - and not much of it :) I can't wait to try this with other colors.

Easy Peasy :) I was really pleased with the way the colors separated a bit - chromatography instead of green we got some yellowy-green, and some bluey-green - extra cool since we just did an activity a couple of weeks ago illustrating chromatography - using paper towels, drawing circles in markers, and then dropping drops of water onto the circles and watching the colors separate - very cool :)

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