The kids and I finally got around to dying our silks this past weekend. We only ordered them about a year ago. I put off dying them purely out of fear. If you’re unfamiliar, silks are a wonderful plaything that you will find in just about every Waldorf classroom or home. They are a perfect example of an open-ended toy.
It’s a toy who’s uses are only limited by the child’s imagination. Here’s one you may remember from your own childhood–sticks. They can be a sword, a bat, an oar, used for digging, etc. An example of a toy that is not open ended would be a princess costume. You put it on and you’re a princess. Game over. So silks are great because they can be capes, doll blankets, tents, a river of blue water, a parachute, whatever the child needs in their moment of play.
The kids lasted for the dying of exactly two silks. I dyed the other nine while holding Shivohn on my hip. I loved everything about it–the smell of the Kool-Aid (remind me to come back to this), the visual of the colors, pushing the silks around in the water, watching the color run while rinsing, hanging them to dry.
First, order yourself some silks. I ordered ours from Dharma Trading Co. for a song. They have great prices and the delivery was super quick. Since we didn’t have any in the house at all I ordered 11 in all different sizes.
So, go gather you some silks (if you can get them away from your big brother)!
Other supplies to gather:
NOTE: Quantities are for 1 to 2 silks. You do your own math smarty pants.
3 Packets colored drink mix OR 20ish drops of food coloring (or both if you like)
Disposable Roasting Pan
A place to hang them to dry.
I just moved my laundry drying rack out onto the grass. Why do I own a laundry drying rack? Like I wear anything these days that requires hang-dry. LOL
Soak the silks in a pot of hot water and three cups of vinegar. No All-Clad was harmed in the making of this craft.
While they were soaking I sketched all our sizes and had the kids plan how many we were doing of each color. That way I could dye all the yellows at the same time, then all the purples, etc.
Next, choose a color and empty your powdered drink mix packets into the roasting pan or pot you don’t care about. After I did the first one I had several colors going at once.
Add 3 C. of vinegar and a few cups of hot water. Stir to dissolve. Get a little crazy and drop some food coloring in.
Wear the freakin’ gloves!
Put the silks in the pan and push them around for a few minutes. Some of them may not dye evenly but that can be equally beautiful.
There is no photo for the next step.
Rinse the silks in cool water until the water runs clear. Reds and purples definitely take longer. Be patient.
Hang them to dry. Like colors touching like when wet.
Okay, the Kool-Aid story. The thought of walking into a grocery store and buying 33 packets of the stuff was making my granola-mama alter ego want to throw up her green smoothie. So I became that person who was saying really loudly, many times, “Won’t this Kool-Aid be great for our CRAFT! No you may not drink it.” Awww, we all have our issues don’t we.