A few days ago, I mentioned that I planned to spindle-spin the green and pink silk hankies that I'd gotten in a trade, and then ply both with silk from some white silk hankies that I had on hand (to extend the yardage- even as finely as I am spinning the green hankie, I'll still be lucky to get 200 yds from it)(which will add out to about 500 yds per oz, so we're talking very fine yarn here).
I didn't really want to ply the dyed silk with undyed, so I decided to dye the white silk hankies with Kool-Aid (to my Granddaughter's delight). We soaked the hankies in warm water in my plastic dye buckets (left over ice cream tubs, from back when we ate enough ice cream to have multiple tubs left over), and then added 2 packets of Kool-aid (Lemonade, and Strawberry Tea) to each bucket, along with a glug of Vinegar. The vinegar probably wasn't necessary, since Kool-Aid is plenty acidic on it's own, but it didn't hurt. I didn't care if the hankies came out mottled, so I just sprinkled the dry powder directly on the wet silk and stirred.
Then I microwaved each bucket to heat-set the dye: 2 minutes on high, 2 minutes rest, repeated 2 more times. And then we let the hankies sit in the water until they cooled completely.
Kool-Aid dye won't exhaust (the water won't clear), so there was really no way to tell when the hankies were *done*. After a couple of hours, we just dumped the cold water, and rinsed the hankies thoroughly (especially the red one- it took forever for the color to stop running, and I'm not sure I got it all out even yet because the wooden clothespins were stained when we took the hankie down).
Wet silk looks like something the cat threw up, but it regains its former sheen pretty quickly. We gently smoothed and stretched the hankies back out into their former square shape, and hung them up to dry. Within a couple of hours, they were soft and fluffy, and gorgeous. Ready to spin.
A note about dyeing: even though all of the ingredients in this dye job are edible, it's still a good idea to use only dedicated pots and utensils for any dyeing project. It's also a good idea to have a *craft* microwave that is not used for food (I have one for melt and pour soap making, that I use).
And a note about Kool-Aid: this stuff, wet or dry, will stain and dye everything it touches. Wear old clothes and gloves during this process, unless being a splotchy pink intrigues you.