Hi, welcome back!
I’ve been stalking Pinterest for some time now on how to dye fabric naturally. I love the idea that you can color different fabrics and textiles by foods, spices, tea, flowers ect. It’s super safe for little ones, and it’s free of any chemically processed color! I chose to use avocados as it gives a beautiful dusty mauve/soft pink that would be oh so precious to make E a blanket out of! *If you follow me on Instagram @andrea__sawyer you can check out the behind the scenes in my stories, I’m trying another color again soon!
There are many different ways to dye fabric, some including cream of tartar, soda ash, and Alum (potassium aluminum sulfate.) None of which were used in this post, as I wanted to try this method chemical free, but I’ve read that you have a better longevity of the dye when used correctly.
So a few things you’ll need:
- Large cooking/stock pot, something that you’ll only use for dying- I got mine from my local goodwill for $3.99
- Pair of tongs or wooden spoon, again only used for dying projects
- Fabric, ribbon, canvas shoes, trims, yarn… anything that you’d like to color. I picked up my textiles from my local hobby lobby and Joanne’s clearance section as this was my first time experimenting
- Avocados- yesss this is the golden ticket!! I used 6 for this project but depending on the size of your pot, you could probably use more or less
- Skimmer- you’ll use this to skim out the skins, pits, or any left over broken bits and pieces
The first thing I did was removed and washed the avocado pits and skins (and made a tons of guac- of course) Make sure you try and remove as much flesh as possible, it will make you life easier later.
I brought the water to a boil and added the pits and skins, then reduced the heat to a simmer for 60 minutes- stirring occasionally . After an hour, I skimmed out all of the pits and skins. (I noticed that the pits broke apart and the skimmer really came in handy as it fished out all the fleshy bits that decomposed.)
Once the water was free of avocado I added my trimming, fabric, shoes and doilies. (I found doilies at a local antique shop, they were pretty stained but you wouldn’t be able to tell after dyeing them!) I left them sit over night or for 12 hours.
Once morning came, I removed everything from the pot and rinsed them with cold water. This part is important as you don’t want to use hot water because hot water can remove the dye from the fabric!!
I then tossed everything into the washer using fragrance free laundry detergent, on the quick wash cycle, with cold water. (Although, I did dye multiple batches and tried a tide pod with the wash and saw no difference in the outcome. I’m just a fragrance free type of gal!)
Once washed, I popped everything in the dryer on high heat in hopes to really set the color, and viola- you have your perfectly pink, naturally dyed fabric!!
I did 3 different batches to really test the color difference. The first batch I left in the pot over night which gave it the most deepest mauve color.
The second I left in the pot for 3 hours (which I like the best) as it gave more of a true dusty rose color.
The third I left in the pot for an hour, giving it the most softest touch of pink.
I also experienced that velvet ribbon turned the most craziest shade of salmon- which I thought was so stinkin cool!
My yard of velvet I dyed twice as the first time (which I left in for 12hours) didn’t take the color as much as I wanted and I washed and dried it. So I put it back in for an additional 3 hours which actually made a huge difference!!
So there you have it, a complete and natural way to color fabrics, shoes, clothing, and trim, all chemical free and from the comfort of your own home. I hope you loved this post as much as I loved sharing it! Please let me know if you try this- I’d love to see your results!!