Did you know that turmeric can dye clothes yellow? With coffee grounds, on the other hand, you could get a nice gray or black. Knowing how to dye clothes naturally, using ingredients you already find in your kitchen, can be a fun, educational, and rewarding experience. To do this, just choose the right ingredients, have a little patience and have fun creating the colors of mother nature!
If there is a project capable of giving great satisfaction, it is certainly that of dye clothes naturally, perhaps using coffee grounds, spinach or artichoke leaves. Oh yes, we often tend to forget about it, but the nature it really is an inexhaustible source of surprises. Plants and spices they can improve the taste of our dishes, they can perfume and decorate our home, they can improve our health and, yes, they can also help us dye fabrics naturally.
If buying a chemical dye for fabrics in the supermarket can be clearly easy, choose some natural dyes for DIY fabrics can become an instructive and enlightening experience, an act green and above all, an excellent anti-waste strategy.
A bit like our grandmothers and great-grandmothers, we too can roll up our sleeves and experiment with new colours, using ingredients that you will surely already have at home. To give a vintage look to tablecloths and shirts, for example, you could choose to dye fabrics with cinnamon. To brighten up a pretty pink, you could use pomegranate seeds or la beetwhile to dye fabrics black by hand you could use coffee grounds or some artichokes.
But let’s see, more closely, how to make a natural dye for fabrics and change the look of sheets, t-shirts, headbands, skirts, curtains and everything you want.
7 ideas for dyeing fabrics with herbs, fruits and spices
Before starting, let’s make a small clarification: for the natural color to work properly, it would be better for the fabrics to be natural, such as cotton, linen, silk, hemp and wool. In these fabrics, unlike synthetic ones such as polyester, the color will adhere better. That said, we just have to get to work. There Mother Nature’s color palette it is incredibly broad, and includes all shades and shades imaginable.
For convenience, let’s see what ingredients to use to color fabrics by hand.
- Red and pink: to get these colors, you can use ingredients such as beet (which will give a reddish-brown color), red cabbage, pomegranate it’s twisted.
- Nero: to dye fabrics black by hand, however, you can use blackberries, black beans, walnut hull or artichoke.
- Giallo: you can dye fabrics with spices like saffron and turmeric to get a nice yellow, but you can also use other ingredients, like chamomile and onion.
- Marrone: to get brown, you could dye fabrics with coffee, with black tea leaves, with onion peel or with walnut hull.
- Blu: with blueberries you can also get blue, but you could also use other natural dyes, such as elderberries and red mulberries.
- Verde: Spinach and nettle leaves are ideal for creating a natural green dye for fabrics
- ViolaTo get this color, use ingredients like elderberries, some varieties of basil, blueberries, blackberries, grapes, and red wine.
How to dye clothes naturally?
We have briefly seen what to use to color clothes. But how does this fascinating process take place?
If you’re wondering how the ancients created colors, our ancestors, the first answer that comes to mind is “with a lot of patience and dedication”. That of dyeing clothes, in fact, is a process that takes some timebut you can bet the results will hook you.
So let’s see what are the 5 steps to dye fabrics by hand. Keep in mind that, to get a good result, the initial starting color should be light, so that the tint is more intense.
Step 1: we wash the clothes
First of all, you will need to wash your clothes to remove any traces of dirt or residues that could compromise the result. For this phase, we advise you to use neutral and ecological detergents.
Step 2: etching
A fundamental step is that of etching: in a nutshell, you have to apply a bitingwhich is a substance that allows the dye to penetrate into the fibers, such as cream of tartar, alum, salt, baking soda or vinegar.
For this step, simply mix water with a suitable substance (one tablespoon per litre) and leave the fabric to soak for a few hours.
Step 3: let’s create the color
It’s time to create the color! Choose the shade you like best and select the right ingredients to obtain it. For example, if you want to dye fabrics blue naturally you could use blueberries, while to dye your fabrics black, you would use walnut hull or artichokes.
In principle, the quantities are 100 g of ingredient for every 100 g of fabric. If you want to get a more intense colour, you can increase the amount of dyes or the duration of the treatment.
Boil the water together with the chosen ingredient. For this operation you will need a steel pot. Let it boil for about 60 minutes, in order to obtain a beautiful intense and brilliant colour.
Step 4: let’s color the clothes
Squeeze the clothes previously soaked for the mordant and, without rinsing them, put them in the pot with the coloring water, boiling over low heat. Let it soak for at least an hour, or even overnight, until you get the color you want.
Don’t be fooled though: when wet, clothes take on a more intense hue, which may fade slightly when fabrics are dry. In that case, just repeat the entire process or choose other natural dyes to achieve the shade you want.
Step 5: we fix the color
We are nearing the end of this fascinating process. All that remains fix the color. Using rubber gloves, in order not to get your hands dirty, squeeze the fabrics and immerse them in a basin containing water and vinegar or coarse salt. He leaves it to soak overnight, then wrings it out and lets it dry. Your masterpiece is ready, have fun wearing the colors of Mother Nature!
Source: GreenStyle by www.greenstyle.it.
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