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  • Writer's pictureBella Gordon Design

Let's talk Natural Dyeing

Updated: Jun 29, 2019

I am a small business owner and am interested in learning about and providing Naturally Dyed Fabrics and Soft Furnishings for myself, my family and I want to share this with my followers. This won't be highly edited, just my words from my experiments to you. I hope you can benefit from this blog and I look forward to sharing our experiences in a relaxed forum.

Natural Dye made with Spice
Turmeric Powder

What you need

1. Pot 4-6 litre, tongs, measure and stirring spoons, heat, washing sink/tap

2. Gloves, apron,

3. Turmeric Spice 6 tablespoons

4. Cotton or Linen Fabric

5. Well lit and ventilated area.

Note - None of the cookware or instruments should ever be used for cooking food to eat in once you use them for dyeing. You can pick up all of the above for a fraction of the usual price at a garage sale, used furniture store or Kmart.


Fill pot half way up with (hot or cold) water then put on heat, medium is best as you don't want to burn the spices. I put a small packet of Turmeric in the pot, it's around 90g. Stir and bring to a low boil, turn down and simmer for around 2 hours. Make sure you stir and check it's all ok every 20 min at least. Once you can see it's made a good dye solution you can strain the spice out with a piece of muslin cloth or a strainer with a tightly woven cloth. I have dyed without straining, just be sure to rinse it out thoroughly when finished as it may cake on and cause uneven colour.

Start with a test on a small bit of the same fabric, i usually do a small square then dangle it in for 10 min with tongs, rinse in cold water then check if desired colour. If you want it darker just leave in the pot of dye longer, best to do at least 30-45 min. Some leave it in the pot whilst on a low simmer, others whilst it cools and other dyers will leave it in overnight. I usually find the colour is a little uneven/streaky if i do this.

Stir regularly otherwise it will streak or get blotches of different shades all over. I just stir it, lift it out, turn it over, remove any folds etc just to be sure. If you are happy with the shade then you can remove the fabric. Keep the dye bath as once the fabric has dried it will go lighter and you may want to re-use the dye to darken the shade.

Rinse the fabric in cold to warm water until it runs clear. Hang in the shade to dry. Once dry i then wash it with pH balanced washing liquid otherwise it goes pink, (its some sort of reaction) most of the time it changes back but sometimes it leaves little pink spots. If you want to dye it darker, just pop it back in the simmering pot for half hour to 2 hours, rinse, wash and dry then Iron the fabric once you are happy with the final colour.

Enjoy and thanks for reading.


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