DIY dyes from your kitchen & garden: magic of living color
How to Make Natural Dyes
Ever wonder how Great-great-grandma dyed the cloth for the family clothing? Perhaps you've been curious about "natural" colors and how to make them? Here is a primer to get you started with your own natural color experiments.
Collect your plant materials when they are at their peak of color.Flowers should be fresh, Berries should be very ripe, not withered.
Chop all plant materials into small pieces (inch or smaller) and place them into a large pot or pan that you are willing to sacrifice to the cloth dyeing craft.You will not be able to use it for cooking again.
Measure the amount of plant material and place twice as much water as plant material into the pot with the plant material.
Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer it, stirring occasionally, for at least an hour.
Strain out the plant material and set the dye bath aside.
Place your fabric into a color fixative bath such as salt water (1 part salt to 16 parts water) or a vinegar bath (1 part vinegar to 4 parts water).
Allow the fabric to absorb the color fixative mix and simmer it for an hour.
Remove the fabric from the fixative and wring it out thoroughly.
Place the wet fabric into the dye mixture and simmer it until the desired color is achieved.The dry product will be lighter than the wet product, so go for a slightly darker color when wet.
Remove the fabric from the dye bath with rubber gloves.(You want to dye the cloth, not your hands.)
Wring the fabric thoroughly and hang it up to dry.
Launder naturally dyed fabrics in cold water and separate from other laundry.
QuestionWhy am I not able to use this pot for cooking again?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can reuse the pot if you wash it well.Thanks!
QuestionWhat kind of berries or flowers do I use to dye the fabric?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can use pretty much any berry, as long as it is fresh.Thanks!
QuestionCan I use food coloring for tie dye?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, but the tones might be a bit muted when compared to artificial dyes.Thanks!
QuestionWhy can't you use the pot after dyeing?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you use metals or acids in a dying process to extract brighter colors, these substances can leave a highly toxic residue that affects the integrity of the metal. The amount of salt and/or vinegar used for dying create chemical reactions that can change the toxicity level of something normally considered safe to ingest or cook with. A metal pot used for dying will degrade at a faster rate than one used solely for food, especially if it has a non-stick coating. Small particles could leach into your food and make you very, very sick, so it's better to be safe and dedicate one pot for dying and store it outside the kitchen so it's not used for cooking by mistake.Thanks!
QuestionAre the colors permanent?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt depends a lot on what mordant you used and on the exact chemical specifics of the pigment. Many natural dyes are more or less permanent (keep them out of strong sunlight, hand wash lightly and they should stay bright for a long time).Thanks!
QuestionCan I dye my hair this way?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. You can use berries to dye hair, but it won't be permanent (it usually will last 3-4 washes).Thanks!
QuestionHow can I make natural colors from rose and turmeric?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDry your roses by hanging them upside down for a week, then crush the petals into a fine powder. You can get pure, ground turmeric in the spice section at the grocery. Mix the turmeric into the rose powder a tiny bit at a time (turmeric is a very strong color) until the powder is the color you want. Use vinegar and water according to the directions above. (Salt is for fruit.)Thanks!
QuestionHow can I make designs using this method?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFold the cloth with elastic bands, and put the fabric on the dye.Thanks!
QuestionWhy do I need to keep the fabric in a salt water bath for an hour?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTo loosen the fibers of the fabric and allow the dye to set in better. Natural fabrics, such as wool and cotton, work best.Thanks!
QuestionAre there any alternatives to vinegar that don't stink?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe smell of vinegar fades. You normally use it to neutralize bad smells.Thanks!
How to make food dye?
How do I make dyes with avocado?
What about prickly pears?
Can I use egg coloring kit to dye cotton shirt
- Some plant materials can be toxic, check with your poison control center if you are unsure.
- Natural fabrics such as cotton, linen, muslin and wool will take dye more readily than a synthetic material.
- See the link below for color charts... there are so many variations that it would be cumbersome to list them all here.
- Dye of this type is generally NOT colorfast in warm water. Wash in cold water and separately from lighter colors.
- Do not drink dye colored water.
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Video: Natural Dyeing Process - Design Studio 1
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