Natural Dyes

Oh all knowing fabric masters:
My Girl Scout troop has expressed an interest in using natural dyes
(like berries,
onion skins, etc.). I did this years ago, but if anyone has done it
recently and has hints, I would appreciate it. Like - what did you dye
(I was thinking maybe bandanas)? What did you use? What fixative?
TIA!
Linda
Reply to
lewmew
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I have never actually dyed anything, but I do have some herbals that give as uses for some herbs you can dye cloth with, IIRC and off the top of my head, achiote for orange and yellow, turmeric for yellow, red cabbage for blue (chemical reaction to (again IIRC) the acid in vinegar, onion skin for brown and tan. I can go look up others if you would like, but again, I don't dye cloth, and I read them in passing as I was reading about herbs.
Elizabeth
Reply to
Elizabeth Fusina
I remember reading somewhere that you could use Jell-O to dye fabric. That might be fun for the girls.
Lucille
Reply to
Lucille
On Mar 20, 2:48=A0am, "Lucille" wrote:
You could suggest taking all kinds of Cytrus peels and put them on a cloth , than wrap it with arope and let it sit for some hours ,,, Bannaa flowers make a wonderful color ,, Pekan peels makes browns are lighter when in water and get darker when dried. mirjam
Reply to
mirjam
I know its not 'natural', but you can dye with Koolaid.... and the kids would have a ball..... :)
Reply to
headway
On 3/19/08 8:48 PM, in article 7_SdnSsYf-jmKXzanZ2dnUVZ snipped-for-privacy@comcast.com,
From experience, the jello doesn't bond unless the fabric is 100% cotton and even then not always.
C
Reply to
Cheryl Isaak
lewmew says...
That certainly ain't me but subject knowledge hasn't stopped many people from typing on other topics
From what I've read, the fabric to be dyed is very important -- the more natural, the better colo(u)rs will take. Once dyed the colors might set with heat (iron or dryer)
What are you gonna do with the dyed fabric?
Reply to
anne
LOL! Guilty of that once or twice myself I'm sure.
That's what I thought too. I was thinking about bandanas - good size, useful later, relatively cheap. Better check the fabric content first (and of course, wash them to get sizing out).
If we do bandanas, wear them of course! Otherwise, I don't know - make blocks and make a quilt?
We've been doing a Renaissance badge and talking about clothing/status shown by clothing etc. and this came up. I told them I had dyed with onion skins and other things when I was a GS and they all perked up. We've been sort of in the doldrums so I need something different but fun - and this seems to fit the bill.
Linda
Reply to
lewmew
If you ask your question on rec.crafts.textiles.yarn you will do better (tell them we sent you). There are several people over there who do a LOT of dyeing with plant materials etc.
Olwyn Mary in New Orleans.
Reply to
Olwyn Mary
lewmew says...
If you can't find cotton bandanas, maybe mens' hankies would work ... add a few stitches, beads, stickers, etc., etc., and the girls would have wonderful journal covers.
Reply to
anne
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you could dye pieces of fabric, then have the girls cut them intosquares and hem them. (Good idea to draw the threads for cuttingbefore dyeing.) You have to know a little something to get a good color on cotton or linen; to dye wool, all you need to do is to put plant parts , rainwater, and wool into a pot, bring it to a simmering boil over very low heat -- it will take at least an hour -- and then let the wool cool in the bath, preferably overnight, but it's all right to take it out when you can put your hands in. You can put in vinegar if you aren't sure the plant parts are acid. (Wool needs an acid dye.)
Food colors are acid; they take well on wool, but probably won't be fast on plant fibers. (Unless you spill Kool-Aid on your best shirt, of course.)
It's hard to get dye to take evenly -- salt in the bath is said to help -- but with tie-dye, uneven doesn't matter.
Enamel water-bath canners are fairly cheap. But if chipped or dented, they will mordant everything with iron, which saddens colors.
Joy Beeson
Reply to
Joy Beeson
It struck me while reading the good things written by people who know more than I do that one idea would be a mental shift---think of the things you usually thing of as causing really hard to remove stains, and consider them as dying agents. Grape juice anyone??? Dawne
Reply to
Dawne Peterson

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