Try .Natural dyeing of fabric.

Written by Yvonne

Today I would like to share an experiment I have done. For my studies I selected the course digital craftsmanship. Within that course I will learn to connect the digital and material world together via several new techniques. One of the online sessions was about Ikat Color Dye. As homework we had to try out some natural dyeing techniques. The basic idea is that you take what you have home to give fabric a color. In today’s article I will share the three samples I have made during this homework assignment. On the pictures you will see my result of the natural dyeing with the original yarns next to it.

The nice thing is, you can do it from home with the things you might already have!

Important! You have to get 30 gr. Alum (for 100 gr. of yarn) and dissolve it in hot water. Before you can dye the yarns they have to simmer for an hour in this mixture. Dry the yarns before you go on.

Forest Fruit Tea

With a very strong smell, the yarns swum in between 14 bags of tea. Though forest fruit tea is very reddish, purple this yarn bath turned brown with a purple/red tint. In the end the yarn turned also brown (darker than coffee) with a red/purple glow. Weird enough it looks very luxurious and is definitely my favorite! A shine is added to the material and the color is unique. It almost looks like some kind of metal, which is quite interesting that you can achieve this with tea.

ikat color coding natural dyeing forest fruit tea
(Tea image edited with pictures of Unsplash)
ikat color coding natural dyeing spinach
(Spinach image of Unsplash)

Spinach and vinegar

We also tried spinach as the only ‘fresh’material we used. This was our experimental natural dye bath. There was not a lot of color pay-off already after 20 minutes. Therefore we decided to add 50 ml of vinegar to see what would happen. The leaves in the bath turned more gray and the smell was not so nice. Online I saw some images of very green yarn. I do not really know why ours did not work out that well. After the yarn dried it had some weird green spots. Even though we washed it well after the bath. It seems like the left over water ended there during the drying process and added more coloring there. The final color is a little bit light lime.

Dark Roasted Coffee

It smelled delicious, when making this natural dye bath! I made use of 20 grams of pre-grinded dark roast coffee. I thought this one would become darker than the final result, because coffee is also quite dark itself. Probably more coffee will result in a darker color pay-off. The color is almost gold. It payed of quite evenly and rich. You have to rinse it out very well afterwards, coffee sticks in between everything!

ikat color coding natural dyeing coffee
(Coffee image from Unsplash)


Wow, this was a very nice experience! I had never done anything with a natural dyeing bath before. I have also seen some more cool examples where people used blue berries or curcuma/curry. Before anyone is planning to do this I have to mention that making dye baths is quite time consuming. It took me 2 half days in-between all the drying of the yarn bundles. Another thing is that you cannot leave the house, because they are on your stove. That is the main thing why doing this during this quarantine time is a very nice opportunity!


You might like this: .Dalgona Coffee.

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