We love an eco-friendly dye around here, and it's even better when you can whip it up yourself using ingredients from your kitchen cupboard!
Over at Planet Green, Michelle Kay shared her tips and techniques for creating a yellow dye out of tumeric and how to use your natural dye to customize yarn.
There are lots of other colors you can make using other foods. You can use fruits like berries to create beautiful reds and purples. Beets make a vibrant red, as well. Greens like kale and spinach give you a lovely green. Try coffee or strong tea for different shades of brown.
Kay's instuctions are great for yarn, but food-based dyes are also a fun way to add some pop to drab fabric.
Prepping Your Fabric for Dyeing
The key to making those natural dyes color-fast when dyeing fabric is using a fixative, and you can find the ingredients for this in your kitchen cupboard, too! Just boil your fabric in salty water (about 1/2c salt to 8c water will do). Vinegar works, as well. Use 1c vinegar in 8c water. Now, it's ready to dye!
How to Dye Your Fabric
Making the dye is simple enough, but it will take some experimenting to get the color just how you want it. Boil your fruit, veggie, or spice of choice in water to create your dye. This will take a couple of hours.
Once the dye is the color you want, you're ready to simmer the fabric. This can be quick or take more than an hour, depending on how dark you want the fabric. Keep an eye on your pot until you achieve the color you're after. You might want to go even a bit darker, since some of the dye will rinse out.
Remove your dyed fabric from the water, rinse it until the water runs clear, then hang it to dry. Voila! You've now got custom-dyed fabric that's ready to sew!
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by B.D.'s World