Dying using veg and fruit is easy, fun and will educate your kids about the different uses plants have.
You can try beetroot, onion skins, blackberries, redcurrants, plums, to name but a few plus all sorts of spices like turmeric and saffron and different tree barks and roots. Follow this link for much more information on what to use and how to do it. http://pioneerthinking.com/crafts/natural-dyes.
I decided to have a go last weekend and took some photos to show you my results. It does take some preparation and don’t expect really strong colours. Have a read and start collecting your dye materials.
Equipment, you will need:
- colanders or sieves
- rubber gloves
- 100 percent cotton material
- your chosen dye materials (I managed to procure some red and yellow onion skins, some beetroot, red cabbage leaves, and a mixture of blackcurrants, plums and cherries).
I made a dye solution by boiling the dye materials, using twice as much water as dye material, for about an hour. I stained each one and set aside.
I prepared some cloth by boiling in a fixative solution:
- Use half a cup of salt to eight cups of water for berries.
- Use four cups of water to one cup of vinegar for plant material.
Make enough solution to cover your cloth. And simmer for an hour, then rinse.
Place the dye solution in the pan with the wet cloth and simmer gently, stirring here and there until the cloth has reached a good colour. Rinse and dry out of direct sunlight.
I borrowed my friends kids and had a go at tie dying some old shirts they had, using the dyes we had made. Our results seemed initially good, the colour faded quite quickly but it was fun anyway. The colours will fade in sunlight, and with washing, which should be done separately from other clothes.
This method of tie dying using marbles or stones is quite effective.
Place a marble or coin onto the material, pinch it and twist the material around it. Secure it in place with an elastic band. Be sure to secure the band very tightly for good results.
Luke using a stick to spiral the t shirt:
Tie up as tightly as possible using rubber bands and string. We added several colours but of course you can’t boil these in, so using one colour is probably a better idea when using natural dyes.
My Jackson Pollock design!