Natural Dyeing

I have been experimenting with a few natural dyes. I have been mashing berries and smearing flowers on fabrics since I was a kid but I only recently learned the proper way to do it. I am lucky to live in an area that has a lot of tropical flowers, and there's so many available I can use. My first time trying to dye, I used bougainvillaea flowers, turmeric and red cabbage (or purple what ever you call it). If you follow me on instagram, or you saw last weeks photo post you would have seen a few pictures. I will give you guys a little insight in how to start dyeing with flowers and spices.

First you will have to pick your fabric. It has to be free of any other dyes, white, or preferably in its raw natural state. Choose fabrics like cotton, silk, hemp, linen, etc. You can look up what kinds of herbs, flowers, spices or fruits you can use, or just try experimenting. I happened to have a few extra pieces of muslin laying around so I experimented with those. I am planing on using the dyes on canvas so I dyed a little piece of those too.

Gather your supplies. Try using spices you have in your pantry, or flowers in your backyard or around the neighborhood. I collected the bougainvillaea from an overgrown plant on the side of the road. I had a giant container of turmeric and I had some cabbage in the fridge getting a little old. If you add hot water, the dye will take faster. You can alternatively leave the containers in the sun for a few days until you reach your desired color. I had to boil the cabbage to get the color out, and I added hot water to all the containers and left them for about 3 days.

After 3 days I took a whiff of the red cabbage an bougainvillaea and they both stank! The hot water had boiled the flowers, so maybe if you decide to try it do the solar method for a more gentle dye.

I am really pleased with the results. The canvas turned out a little darker than the muslin, but I like the subtle color that developed with the muslin.