Wednesday, March 17, 2010

March Tart Lesson: Pantry Dyeing

Susan's small sample shows the variety of materials that can be dyed with everyday "dyes" that might be found in your pantry. Using coloring agents found around the house to color trims or embellishments can be easy and allows you to add interest to an art piece without much effort.

In this month's kit are a number of materials for you to dye. Each will yield its own special color depending on the type of dye you use so it will be worth experimenting with each type of material. Besides what is in the kit, try using wood, buttons, plastic pearls, handmade paper, batting, laces, pompoms, cotton doilies. We did not include any setting agent or fixative so be aware of the colorfastness of your results.
The "dyes" included in your kit are coffee, red zinger tea, paprika, tumeric, and two colors of Kool-aid. You will mix the contents of each dye with 1 cup boiling water. Add the material to be dyed. Depending on the amount of fabric, you may need to add more dye and water. Saturation of color will depend on the amount of dye used - again a part of your experimentation. The fabrics will dye better if there is enough water for them to "swim". Soak the materials for 30 minutes, remove from the dye water, and let dry completely.

You may get a more intense color if you simmer your materials in a pan over heat for 30 minutes. The Kool-aid will dye protein fibers such as wool or silk, but only stain vegetable fibers. The colors on wool or silk will be more permanent.

Tumeric yields a vibrant yellow color.

The following pictures show our results for the different dyes. Paprika gives a rusty brown.

Instant coffee gives a light brown.

Red Zinger tea gives a mauve.

Tumeric gives a golden yellow.

And depending on the color of the Kool-aid, the dyed materials will be bright and clear. Use only unsweetened Kool-aid. Theses samples were dyed with cherry and lime.


Michelle Frae Cummings said...

ooooh pretty! I also use leftover red wine.

In Good Company said...

We found some good results with onion skins, pickled beet juice, and a combination of several spices. See our gallery photos for some results.