I got hooked on Natural Dyes in 1978. I still love it. I am impressed by nature and the way nature provides all we need. I used Pomegranate, brown onion skin and purple carrot for this recipe.
Slice Pomegranate and soak in water overnight. Boil for 20 minutes together with brow onion skin. Cool the bath. Layer and wrap wet silk fabric, wool fabric and yarns, maybe a few doilies around a small poly pipe. Add the sliced purple carrot in between layers. Tie the fabric “parcel” to keep carrot in place. Add ½ tea spoon of alum to the dye bath. Bring water to 90 degrees C for 20 minutes. Leave “parcel” in pot to cool overnight.
You can also add rusty bottle tops and nails to the dye pot or even wrap it in the fabric for interesting effect. Make sure you tie the fabric together so that the nails and rusty bottle tops stays in place. Leave the fabric “parcel” in dye pot overnight. Leave the “parcel” to dry up for a week or longer in a shady, dry and air ventilated place. Unwrap and be excited by the natural beauty unfolding.
I love dyeing with Turmeric not the powder but with the root itself which I slice into thin pieces. Include rusty items when you wrap the fabric. The base colour for this recipe is obtained from soaked bark from River Gum. Boil the bark for 2 hours. Let cool, then put your fabric “parcel” in pot, bring to 90 degrees C for 20 minutes. Leave “parcel” in dye pot overnight. Then let dry as above.
Be experimental. That is what life is all about. Add anything to your “parcel” that you think would stain and make colour.
Keep a record of your work. It is great fun to sit in your rocking chair at a mature age and look through all these lovely memories you have collected when connected to nature.