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DIY Natural Dyeing From Home

DIY Natural Dyeing From Home

Posted by : Mary Wutz   /  

“A Good Source of Natural Dyeing Can be Found in Your Own Backyard”

I’m sure while you’re in your backyard the last thing you think about is how you can turn almost any of the plants, roots, and flowers into a natural botanical dye. You can dye anything from a t-shirt to an easter egg with botanical dye. And they’re easy to make at home!

1.Gathering the Materials: Make sure while you’re gathering your desired materials that everything is in full bloom and you only take what you need (less waste!) Not sure what natural dyeing grow in your state? Check out our DIY plant dye map DIY Plant Dye Map

2.Getting fabric ready for the dye bath: Soak the fabric in a color fixative before the dye process. This allows for the color to set in.

Creating color fixatives:

  • Salt Fixative (for berry dyes) ½ cup salt to 8 cups of cold water
  • Plant Fixative (for plant dyes) 4 parts cold water, 1 part vinegar

  1. Add the plant of your choice to the fixative for an hour and allow to simmer. After simmering, rinse out fabric in cold water and release all excess until it is rinsing clear water.

  1. Making the dye Solution: Chop up your plants of choice and place in a pot. Double the amount of water as plant material, bring to a boil, then let simmer for an hour.  Then simply add the wet fabric to the dye solution. Note, when you dry your fabric the color will be a lighter hue.

(if you want a darker hue, allow the fabric to soak overnight)

Tips: It’s best to use an old large pot for dyeing, incase of staining. Also make sure to wear gloves so you don’t dye your hands!

Color Guide:

Orange: Alder, barberry, bloodroot, carrot, red onion skin, sunflower, turmeric, pomegranate skins

Brown: Boiled acorns, beetroot, birch bark, butternut tree bark, coffee grounds, dandelion roots, ivy twigs, dried oregano stalk, tea bags

Pink: Avocado skin and seed, Bloodroot, Cherries, Madder, Raspberries, Roses, Strawberries

Blue and Purple: Blackberries, Blueberries, Cherry Roots, Dogwood, Grapes, Indigo, Red Cabbage, Purple Iris, Sweetgum Bark

Red: Bamboo, Beets, Chokecherries, Crab Apple, Fennel, Hops, Juniper, Pomegranate, Rose, Sycamore Bark

Grey and Black: Blackberry, Elder, Walnut, Sawthorn Oak, Elderberry

Green: Artichokes, Foxglove, Hydrangea, Lilac, Nettle, Peach, Sage, Spinach, Tea Tree, Sorrell

Peach: Artichoke powder, Broom Flower, Plum Tree Roots, Weeping Willow Bark

Yellow: Alfalfa seeds, Bay leaves, Camomile, Celery, Fennel, Fustic, Marigold, Plantain, Sage, Sassafras, Tansy

For more information about the natural dye process and a complete list of plants to use and the colors the produce visit Making Natural Dyes From Plants   

Photo from Natural Dyes  

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