Natural Dyeing

Natural Dyeing

We tend to always want something new. Novelty can be irresistible- which is why it’s so thrilling to buy a bunch of new clothes. However, as we wear those clothes they lose their appeal. A way to make your clothes feel new again is through dyes! Natural dyes are simple and cheap because they can come from the contents of your kitchen or garden like avocado pits, coffee grounds, onion skins, and flowers. 

 When it comes to choosing which clothes to dye it’s important to stray away from synthetic fabrics. The best ones to use are those made from natural materials themselves. Which is why we have selected a 100% cotton tee to dye. 

 Next you’ll want to prep the fabric. Rinse your item and wring out. Then prepare a mordant that will help the fabric take the dyes more easily. Place fabric in the mordant solution for an hour and rinse with cool water. 

The Process

  1. Lay out your fabric and begin adding your botanical picks and food waste. We used flowers and coffee grounds.
  2. Once you have created a design on your fabric, fold in half and begin tightly rolling your fabric so the contents remain enclosed. Tie off with rubber bands or twine.

3. Your bundle is now ready to be steamed. Fill a pot with water and place a colander or steam basket on top. Steam your fabric for an hour turning the bundle every half an hour. Let the botanical material soak in before unwrapping. 

4. Unwrap bundle and brush off plant material. Hang to dry.

Along with bundle dyeing we practiced printing with flowers. 

  1. Begin by laying out flowers face down onto fabric 
  2. Fold fabric in half or place 2-3 paper towels over the fabric and hammer away.

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