You can use 1 variety of berry for each dye color or mix berries together to make your own color combinations.
It’s a great time to make your own natural dyes whilst summer’s berries are plentiful. Dyes made from natural ingredients produce unique colors. Use the dyes to over-dye vintage oral fabrics, up-cycle vintage cottons and linens, or dye new fabric to create a subtle pastel palette.
1/2 cup table salt
8 cups water
4 cups berries
8 cups water
- Before starting the dyeing process, you need to get your fabric ready.
- Wash the fabric you have chosen to dye. Don’t dry it—it needs to be wet.
- Prepare the xative or mordant. This is to help the fabric take up the dye more easily. Combine salt and water in a large saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, stirring until salt dissolves.
- Remove from heat.
- dd the washed (wet) fabric and allow to stand 1 hour in the salt water.
- Remove fabric and rinse well with water. The fabric is now ready to be dyed.
- Place berries into a heavy-based saucepan then add water. (As a general guide to 1 cup of berries add 2 cups of water.)
- Bring berries and water to a boil over a medium heat, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 1 hour or until liquid is dark in color.
- Strain through a fine sieve lined with muslin or cheesecloth.
- Discard solids.
- Return liquid to saucepan.
- Place fabrics into dye liquid and stir well to coat.
- Simmer over a very low heat for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Remove from heat and allow fabrics to stand in dye until cold. Remember fabrics will be lighter when dry.
- Remove fabrics when desired color strength is reached and rinse under cold water.
Note: to achieve darker colors, leave fabrics in cooled dye liquid longer.
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