Dye Fabric Naturally

2 May 2014


A table set with cues from Mother Nature for Mother’s Days? Naturally.

My adoration for natural dyes started (here), deepened with last year’s flower tea bags, (here)and went all out bananas when we dyed natural Easter Egg dyes (here.)  Hmmm, bananas, I haven’t tried that yet.

As we were dyeing Easter eggs, one thing led to another and before you knew it: we had fabric drying all over the kitchen. This yellow is the result of those experiments and I can’t wait to share it with you because it stood out as the easiest, most simple and heartiest natural color.  It’s PERFECT for everyone from tiny toddler hands to adults! I hope, makes it perfect for you!

Come along with me, now,  to learn how!  Willowday Wishes (naturally!)





Natural fiber fabric or napkins (pre-washed), Turmeric, hot water, bowl and drying rack

Let’s get started: 
– Measure hot water.
Note, if you are working with toddlers, you actually don’t need to have boiling water. I’ve experimented with warm, warm water that I could handle with my hands, and this worked just as well! I don’t understand the science behind the recommendation but, I have experimented repeatedly and want to share with you that it is OK with very warm tap water.

– Add Tumeric and mix well; until dissolved.
– Begin dipping fabric.
 –  Dip fabric into turmeric solution and leave until correct color has been achieved.
For a strong yellow, you can dye the fabric over night but, a very nice vibrant yellow is also achieved by by dipping for about an hour. The more turmeric you use, the murkier the color; if you use less, the clearer. As a general rule of measure, we used 2 cups of water with 4 T turmeric to dye 6 napkins.
– Dry. We did these indoors and I used a cake cooling rack for the drying. This feels like a project that would be so much fun to do outside and then, you could pin on a laundry line or hand on a hook. Be careful to keep the fabric from overlapping and possibly causing the color to distribute unevenly.
– One these are dry, iron (or not, depending on the fabric and your style) and wrap up for great gifts or set up a beautiful table!
– To laundry, I’ve been machine washing our on the hand wash cycle and drying them in the dryer!
I hope this is a fun project for for you, too, from it’s conception to the giving or use!
I have this childhood image of my mother wearing a yellow dress and standing along our yellow rose bushes which is possibly why I’ve fallen so hard for this shade; it brings me very happy childhood memories of my Mother.  Happy making. I’d love to see what you do!
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Something you might like:
Tea Dyed Flowers  (shown in center, below)
Naturally Dyed Eggs (not pictured)