earthy plant dyes

1. PAPRIKA 2. ELDERBERRY 3. HIBISCUS 4. TUMERIC 5. BEE POLLEN

It has been awhile since I have done any dyeing. I recently had the itch to play with natural dyes. I have done this in the past using fruits and vegetables, but wanted to try something completely different. I chose something more earthy this time.

I picked up some interesting natural spices and berries, choosing what I hoped would lend to  shades of purples and yellows. I gathered some un-dyed fabrics and fibers and soaked them for a half hour in cold water to fully saturate the material. I started with 4 quarts of fresh water for each natural dye I used, adding 4 heaping tablespoons of dye medium and 3 tablespoons of mordant (I used white vinegar), for fixing the dye, once water was at a full boil.

I used smaller pieces of fabric. A quarter of a yard was my largest piece. I added a few pieces at a time to my dye bath and stirred them around until they were fully submerged. I let them boil for about 3 minutes and then took them off the heat and let them sit another two minutes before rinsing them in cold water.

I will probably give these a quick wash in a detergent made for delicates and hang them to dry on the line. I can't wait to use these in a project! So easy and fun and very earthy. Perfect!