Have you ever been curious to learn how to make your own eco friendly dyes? Conventional fabric dyes cause runnoff that pollutes waterways and the chemicals are overall unhealthy for those who work with conventional dyes on a large scale. We did some quick research and were pleasantly surprised to see how easy it is to create your own friendly dyes using regular fruits and veggies to create some beautiful colors.
One such plant we decided to work with for our dye project was turmeric, a plant from Southeast Asia whose roots are dried and ground into a powder that is often used in curries and is notorious for staining fabric. The color is a bright yellow, making it perfect for spicing up your springtime wardrobe!
You will need:
4 cups of water + 1/4 cup table salt
Undyed or light colored fabric of your choice.
2 cups water + 2 tablespoons of ground turmeric
non-reactive sauce pan (stainless steel or ceramic will work best)
1. Combine the water and salt in your pan and bring it to a boil, then add your fabric and let it simmer for one hour. The salt is your “fixative,” which helps your fabric take the dye.
2. Drain your fabric, wring it out when it’s cool enough to handle, and rinse your pot.
3. Combine the water and turmeric in the same pot, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Turn off the heat, add your fabric to the pot, and use your wooden spoon to make sure that the fabric gets a nice coating in the dye. Let your fabric soak. The longer it soaks, the more vibrant your color will be check it after the first 5-10 minutes, then just keep checking on the fabric every few minutes until you get the vibrancy you’re looking for. Make sure that each time you pull the fabric out of the dye that you use your wooden spoon to fully submerge it again – you don’t want the dye job to turn out uneven! I let mine soak for about 15 minutes and you can see the result in the photo at the top of this page.
5. Rinse your fabric in the sink until the water runs clear, hang it to dry, and you’re ready to craft with your turmeric dyed fabric!
Wasn't that easy? Send us your pictures of how you used turmeric to brighten up your fabrics and receive 10% off your next emiLime purchase - just in time for summer!