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Turn Vegetables Into Gorgeous Tie-Dye

Meghan Caudill Via Organic Life naturaldyediy-begin-885 Before You Begin Creating your own vegetable coloring for dying fabrics is fun and easy. There are a couple of things to keep in mind before you get started though. First, you’ll need to source mordants, mineral salts that bind dye into fiber and ensure color-fastness. You will need to use a mordant when using natural dyes. Different mordants are recommended for different fabrics. Alum (aluminum potassium sulfate) is the most common and works best with wool and silk. Ammonium sulfate is recommended for cotton and linen. Check your local craft store for mordant. Also, keep in mind that different fabrics will take on colors differently. Here are some ideas for inspiration: turmeric root or powder (yellow), red cabbage (blueish purple), red onion skins (olive green), beets (light pink), yellow onion skins (orange), black beans (grey). (Tea also works well if you want brown.) Materials
  • Natural fabric: 100% wool, linen, cotton, etc.
  • Mordant
  • Large pot
  • Gloves
  • Stick or spoon for stirring plant material(s) for dyeing
  • Sieve or colander rubber bands
  • Presoak Fabric
  naturaldyediy-presoak-885 Presoak Fabric Calculate the amount of mordant based on the weight of the fabric: 3 to 4 tablespoons of mordant per pound of fabric. Dissolve in 3 to 4 gallons of water. Add presoaked fabric to the pot, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Let cool in mordant overnight.   naturaldyediy-prep-885 Prep Vegetables Chop plant materials into small pieces and place in pot. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and then simmer for one hour. naturaldyediy-fold-885 Decide On A Pattern If tie-dying, prepare fabric. There are numerous tutorials online that show folding and wrapping techniques to achieve different patterns. Secure tightly with rubber bands.   naturaldyediy-dye-885 Let Soak Strain and discard solids, reserving liquid for dyeing. Return liquid to pot, add fabric, and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally. Let the fabric cool in the dye. The longer the fabric remains in the dye the stronger the color will be. And keep in mind that the color will be lighter once rinsed, washed, and dried.   naturaldyediy-rinse-885 Rinse Remove fabric from dye pot, and rinse under until water runs clear; hang to dry. Wash separately in cold water the first time you wash the fabric.   naturaldyediy-final-885 Care Please note that color may soften over time with washing and exposure to sunlight. And that’s OK. In fact you might find that as time goes on, the colors develop into new shades you love even more.

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