Dye Fabrics Naturally
Dye Fabrics Naturally; using natural materials in place of chemical based dyes.
Dyeing your clothes can be a fun way to design a whole new wardrobe. However, instead of spending money on chemical dyes to dye your clothing, try the green way: There are many different plants, berries, leaves, and barks, that will dye your clothes. To achieve the best colour it is best to use a white cotton material. A natural dye can change darker colours, but you will have to allow the fabric to soak in the dye for several hours. Alternatively, you can bleach old colours out before proceding, but be sure to wash out all the bleach before continuing with your dyeing.
Some Natural Sources of Colour for Dyeing
Carrot – orange
Eucalyptus – (all parts, leaves and bark) different shades of brown, orange, red, yellow, green.
Lichen- gold, purple, red
Lilac(twigs) – yellow/orange
Onion (skin) – orange
Pomegranate (skins)– with alum, from orange to green.
Turmeric – orange or red if dipped in lye.
Beetroot -Dark Brown, pink, deep red
Acorns (boiled)- brown
Coffee Grinds – brown
Ivy – (twigs) – yellow/brown
Tea Bags – light brown, tan
Walnut (hulls) – deep brown (wear gloves)
Walnut (husks) – deep brown – black
Avocado skin and seed –light pink.
Dandelion (root) pink/red
Blackberry – Black
Walnut (hull) – black
Rusty nails & vinegar, set with Alum – Black
Artichokes – green
Tea Tree – (flowers) green/black
Spinach (leaves) -green
Grass -yellow green
Peppermint – dark kakhi green
Saffron – (petals) blue/green
Celery (leaves) -yellow
Crocus – yellow
Daffodil (flower heads after they have died)-yellow
For more go to pioneerthinking.com/crafts/natural-dyes
You Will Need:
4 cups natural dye material
Rubber gloves and old clothes
Large, old pot
1/2 cup salt
1 cup vinegar
1 Determine the colour you want to dye the fabric and find your source product.
2 Gather the material; keep in mind that plant life you use will have to be in full bloom, in order to dye the fabric successfully.
3 Put on a pair of rubber gloves and old clothing: The natural dyes can stain your clothing as well as your skin.
4 Make your dye bath. Use a sharp knife to finely chop the natural plant you are going to use as dye (about four cups worth of material). Place the material into a large, old pot and add eight cups of water. Turn the heat of the burner high so that the dye water begins to boil. Once it starts to boil, lower the heat and allow the dye bath to simmer for an hour.
5 Make your salt fixative or plant fixative, while the dye bath simmers; This will help the dye set into the material. For any dyes being made from berries, combine half a cup of salt in eight cups of cold water in a medium-sized bowl, and soak the material waiting to be dyed in this solution for one hour. For any dyes being made from a plant, combine 4 cups cold water and one cup of vinegar in a medium bowl, and again allow the material to soak in the fixative for an hour.
6 Strain the plants, fruit or vegetables from the dye bath. Pour the dye bath back into the large pot.
7 Remove the fabric from the fixative and add it to the dye bath: Leave the fabric soaking in the dye bath overnight.
8 Rinse out the fabric with cool water, until the water runs clear. Hang out your newly dyed fabric to dry, but away from direct sunlight.
When washing your dyed fabrics, wash them separately in cold water, to prevent bleeding.