Homemade Fabric Dye!!

Hey guys!  I had a bunch of things I wanted to blog about today (I found another reason to love baking soda and vinegar!!)  But that will have to wait since time completely got away from me today. Instead, I leave you with this post from a while back!  It's been on my mind lately because, although the weather in Utah would have us believe otherwise, Spring is on it's way and it's the PERFECT time for one of my favorite hobbies:  making homemade fabric dye!

I can't even tell you how much fun I had with this.  I got to pick flowers and experiment in the kitchen and create beautiful fabric for my sewing pleasure all at once!  I can't wait till my kids are old enough to help out with this stuff because I think they'll get a kick out of it.  It certainly appealed to the kid in me!

I started out by doing a little research online.  Just googling "homemade fabric dye" brought up plenty of cool links.  I found out that you can use pretty much anything to dye fabric (flowers, grass, bark, roots, fruit, veggies, spices, etc.) 

All you need is:
a big pot
whatever you're using for color (in this case, dandelions, mango skins, turmeric and strawberries)
a strainer

First, I went out to our backyard and harvested a small portion of our flourishing dandilion population.
I was worried that the dandilions wouldn't produce a dark enough color, so I cut up a mango and threw in the skins.  (After eating what was inside, of course.)

Next, I added about a tablespoon of turmeric.

I threw it all in a pot and covered it with water, brought it to a boil, and let it simmer for about 30 mins. (It should be noted that if you plan on trying this with other plants, you should use a pot that you don't plan to cook with again as some plants are poisonous.)

Next, I strained out the boiled flower bits and all that other good stuff.

After which, I was left with this!

Meanwhile, I prepared the fabric by boiling it for an hour in a salt water solution (1/4 cup salt for ever 4 cups of water) because apparently that helps it to hold the color better.  The salt solution is for fruit dyes, there's a vinegar solution for flower dyes (4 parts cold water to 1 part vinegar).  Then, I rung it out and poured on the Turdango dye!  (Get it? Turdango?  Bahaha....)

Now, the fabric always dries a little lighter than what you see in the pot.  So, this light yellow tint worried me.  I whipped up another dye concoction of straight turmeric (4 tablespoons) and water, and gave the sheet abother bath.  (Results at the end of the post.)

Next up, I figured I'd use the strawberries at the bottom of the strawberry carton in my fridge.  You know, the ones that go mushy and grow mold but you never notice it in the store, no matter how hard you look?  I wasn't planning on eating them.  Waste not, want not!

...threw in a few splashes of balsamic vinegar.

And a little kool-aid, for good measure.  (Why not?)

Boiled it, let it simmer for 30 mins while i prepared the fabric in another salt bath, and after wringing out the fabric, I poured on the dye!  (Vinaberry-Aid?  Meh?)

And here's what I ended up with!

I liked that turmeric dye so much, I saved what was left and put it in the fridge (labeled, so the hubby doesn't try to drink it).  It should keep for a couple of weeks, while I look for something else to turn yellow :)

I whole-heartedly encourage you guys to try this out at home.  It's so much fun!!  So fun!

No comments:

Post a Comment