Mama Earth Natural Dye for fabric

At any stage in our lives, we need new inspirations to keep our brain active. For me, it is also a form of relaxation so I never find anything too complicated or strenuous to be fun. Dyeing fabrics give such a feeling of accomplishment and it is so simple to do.

Summer is just around the corner so it is a great time to create some wonderful earth colour inspired clothing. I adore dying fabrics as you never can tell what shade, design the finished product will be.

If you are a novice why not make a beautiful new tablecloth as a feature to your room?

You could dye some wool with natural dyes for a knitting project.

Pretty scarfs make beautiful gifts made with love.

You could even just dye a plain white T-shirt for slouching around on the couch. The fun is making and being able to say, "I done that."

My sons love the fun of dyes and proudly wear their items they made themselves.

Mother Nature dyes prefer natural materials to hold natural dyes. Cotton, silk, wool and linen will take the dye the best. Don't rush out and purchase new fabrics, be a Thrifty Mama and check out the charity shops, they are full of items that are 100% cotton if you are lucky you may find some silk or woollens also!

Before commencing with the dye you need to wash the fabric and leave it damp then add the fixative.  I use a vinegar blend of 1 part white vinegar to 4 parts cold water. If you decide to dye using berries then use a salt blend of 1/2 cup of salt to 8 cups of water.

Prepare your dye pot by placing your plant item in a large pot/pan. It should be 1 plant and 2 parts water. Simmer this for an hour-ish until you get a rich liquid. Sieve out bits of plant material and return the liquid to the pot.

Soak your fabric in the fixture blend for at least an hour then rinse with cold water and add to your dye pot.

Simmer the fabric gently in the dye pot for at least an hour, stir midway gently. Turn off the heat and leave the fabric in the pot overnight.

The next day remove the fabric, rinse in cold water and dry as usual.

The plants that I find best for natural dyes are:

Green: spinach, peppermint leaves, grass, nettles, plantain, peach leaves

Yellow: bay leaves, marigolds, sunflower petals, dandelion flowers, paprika, turmeric, celery leaves

Pink: berries, cherries, red and pink roses, avocado skins and seeds

Blue:  red cabbage, blueberries, purple grapes

Orange: carrots, onion skins

Brown: dandelion roots, oak bark, walnut hulls, tea, coffee, acorns

Red-brown: pomegranates, beets, hibiscus (reddish color flowers)

Grey-black: Blackberries, walnut hulls

You can either dye the fabric all one colour or experiment using Tye Dye techniques or dip dying.

Hope you have fun and please remember to cover work surfaces and clothes as this is a messy process.

Love and gentle hugs


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