Thursday, January 25, 2007

Food Coloring Trials

Here is a pic of the test dyeing I did over the last couple of days. Reading the color sets clockwise from upper right, neon blue, regular blue, regular green, neon purple, and neon green. All samples are 5 yards of 100% wool (from recycled Irish Aran Sweater). All were soaked in lukewarm water before being dyed. Dyed solutions were 1/2 cup water, 1/4 tsp vinegar, and various amounts of dye (see below), set in a water bath on the stove top.

The blue specs:

L to R: 3 drops, 6 drops, 9 drops neon blue.

L to R: 6, 9, 12, and 15, drops of neon green.

L to R: 12, 9, 6, 3, drops of neon purple.

L to R: 3, 6, 9, drops of regular blue.

L to R: 3, 9, drops regular green.

All in all, I'm thrilled with the new colors. They are bright and saturated. The regular dyes yield some really good colors but are much more muted and toned down, which is what I expected on both counts. The regular green 9 drop sample is pretty perky though.

Still not overjoyed with the neon purple. Nice colors, but not of the same caliber as the neon greens and blues. The dyeing was inconsistent too. As you know the red components of the purple dye are absorbed first then the blue, this is normal, but it also gave a more mottled effect rather than a blended true purple than other types of dyeing I've tried. The resultant mottled effect in the less saturated samples is very pleasing and gives the sample great depth.

Oh, and btw, I wouldn't call the color I got as being true purple either, but that of course is tainted by my personal point of view of what is "purple". It's not that I don't like the resulting colors, I do, the 9 drop sample is nearly identical to my livingroom walls. :-) The paint was called cabernet, I'd call it black mulberry. I did try the recipe for dark purple that was given on the box of the neon dyes. The result was pretty yucky for purple. Not much different than the color you get when you use blackcherry koolaide. I didn't bother with that pic.

In conclusion, I'd have to say....if you're interested, try it yourself, I think you'll be pleased with new neon dyes. This is all so subjective, biased with my tastes, my poor photographic skills, the amount of available sunlight, and puter monitors etc. To put it in a nutshell, the neon food color dyes are very different than the regular food color dyes so if you ever wanted more out of your food color dyes, the good people at McCormick have given it to you.


  1. I just bought some more food dyes recently myself to do some more experimenting. Looks like you had some great success!

  2. But dontcha miss the fruity Kool-Aid smells that go along with it??
    Kove the limey green!!