Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday's Tute: Dying Nylon...power mesh

Skirt from Matilda Jane Clothing
Last year I saw this skirt from Matilda Jane Clothing.  It's so colorful and twirly looking.  I loved it in pictures and had to see it in person.  What was it made of that allowed it to flow so softly and be so lively?  It's made of cotton woven (yoke), power mesh (red), and the ruffles are combinations of light weight knit and cotton woven. 
Cotton woven, and knits are easy to find, but this power mesh in colors was trouble.  I did find some online, at a cost.  Also, there was the unknown weight and weave.  This was very light weight and had a tight, almost can't see the wholes, weave.  Online was too risky.  Joanns had it, but only in black and white.  So I wait and hunt.  Skirts like this are found in the stores made of tulle.  But, we've found tulle to tear easily.  Some make this type of skirt out of nylon chiffon, but again, it's not as durable as I'd like.  Power mesh is durable, yet light and flowing.
Last week I looked at the white at Joanns again.  It's the perfect weight and weave.  But, it's 9.99/yd.  I had a 50% off coupon.  Could I dye it?  I'm not good at that.  Rarely do I get a rit dye to come out the color I hoped.  I don't want to mess up this fabric....
I called my trusty and knowledgeable knit friend, Anne St. Clair of Needlenook Fabrics.  She dyes things all the time.  Can I dye this...how?  Her reply...I couldn't believe...Kool Aid.
I started with White and, within 30 min., got this.  The exact color I wanted, a bright ocean blue.
This is absolutely the easiest and most fool proof dye job I've ever, ever, done.
The tutorial:
Fabric (nylon, wool, or other protein based fabrics that need an acid dye)
Kool Aid (I used 7 pks of Blue Moon for 1 1/2 yd of fabric)
A pot that you don't mind if it's colored for a while.  It's food based so I won't hurt you.
A stove
Water and a Spoon


1. Wash your fabric (no softener). 
2. Wet your fabric.  I dyed mine right from the washer
3. Fill your pot deep enough to easily submerge your fabric with room to move. vinegar is not needed as kool aid is acidic enough to set the color.
4. Bring to a simmer.
5. Add kool aid to the color you want.  (The color of the water is the color your fabric will be.)
6. Drop in your fabric and stir.  You want to do this kind of quickly. 
7. The fabric is done when the color from the water goes into the fabric and leaves the water a frosty white.  (Mine was done within a minute of stirring.)
**Heavier fabrics may take as much as 2 hours of occasional stirring. From what I hear.**
8. Remove fabric and rinse, then run through the spin cycle.  No color will leave the fabric during rise or future washings.

I can't wait to get this fabric made into the skirt.  I'll be sure to update this post with a photo when I get it made up.

Happy Sewing!  Dying!


  1. I love dyeing with kool-aid... its fun - and such great colours!

  2. That is fantastic! Lovely skirt. Thanks for the info.

  3. Isn it possible with cotton?

  4. Anonymous...No Koolaid will not dye cotton. I've read where some have used it, but it actually stains and then fades out. Koolaid is best on things like wool, nylon, and silk. It actually does dye these things.


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