Top 5 Foods for Making Natural Fabric Dye

beets make great natural fabric dye

On Monday, I showed you how to use red cabbage to dye fabric a lovely lilac color, but what about other natural food-based fabric dyes?

Lots of fruits, veggies, and herbs and spices are great for dyeing fabric similar methods to the one I gave you on Monday.  Who needs a bunch of nasty chemicals to make beautiful colored fabrics, right? While I was researching how to dye fabric with my extra head of red cabbage, I found a handful of food ingredients that seem to be favorites for dyeing fabric.

  1. Plum skins dye fabric hot pink!
  2. Tumeric creates a bright yellow.
  3. Spinach or sorrel work well for a vibrant green.
  4. For a reddish purple color, beets are the veggie of choice.
  5. Coffee and tea stain your fabric in shades of brown.

Basic Steps for Dyeing Fabric with Food

  1. Boil your fabric in 1/2 cup salt + 8 cups water for an hour, then wring the fabric out and dump the water.
  2. Put your fabric back into the pot with enough of your food of choice to completely cover it. If you’re using a dried herb, like tumeric, start with 1 tablespoon per cup of water, and make enough liquid to cover.
  3. Boil for another hour, then remove from the heat and soak until the fabric turns the shade you’re going for.
  4. Rinse the fabric well, and hang it to dry.

Have you guys tried any other food-based dyes that turned out great? It was super fun doing the red cabbage dye, and I definitely want to experiment with dyeing fabrics in more colors!

{Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by craigCloutier}

4 comments on “Top 5 Foods for Making Natural Fabric Dye
  1. Pingback: Can I wash food-dyed fabric? | Glue and Glitter

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