One of the things on my summer list was to try out some natural dyeing processes with fabric.
The process is very simple once the proper ratio of water to vegetable is established. Depending on the color you want depends on the vegetable you use. I decided to go with beets for a reddish/pink color and yellow onion skins for a yellow/ antiqued color.
To prepare the dye simply cut up the vegetables into small pieces, (for the onion you only need the skins) And add the same amount of water as vegetable. This process is really matter of guessing and estimation. The more water, the more diluted the dye.
Place the water and vegetable in a metal pot and bring them to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling let it simmer for an hour.
While the dye is simmering prepare the fabric to be dyed. This require you to make a fixer. Place four parts water, one part vinegar in a pot and bring that to a boil. Once boiling add the fabric and bring it down to a simmer. Let this simmer for an hour.
After the fixture and the dye has simmered for an hour remove the vegetables from the dye and you’re in business.
Add the fabrics and let them sit in the dye till the desired color. hint: they do fade as they dry so leave them in a little longer than the color you desire. I learned this the hard way. The beet mixture was more potent so the dyeing process lasted about an hour before removing the fabric. But I let the onion mixture soak overnight.
I decided to try yarn, muslim and some old doilies to see how the different fabrics took to the dye.
Here are the results:
The yarn took the dye the best. turning this stark white yarn into a deep yellow and red-orange.
The muslim was darker when I took it out of the color. But now it is a soft pink color.
The Doily dyed in the beets came out extremely well with no color fade while the one dyed in the onion skins did not come out as dark as planned however it still has a yellow/ antiqued color that I enjoy.
Overall this little experiment I would call a success. I really enjoyed it and I look forward to doing it again with some articles of clothing and maybe even some sheets.
*items must be handed washed or washed on the delicate cycle after being dyed.