Natural Dyes to Liven Up Your Wardrobe

Reader Contribution by Laura Everly
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The Native Indians learned to use their natural surroundings without wasting anything.  TheH Native American women learned to cultivate the grasses, trees, roots and fruits to use in their every day living.  As our great country extended across the United States, pioneers learned from the Indians and used their own cultivation ideas’  Needless to say, using fruits and roots to dye fabric has been used for a very, very long time.

This blog contains a list of different fruits, vegetables and plants that can create unique colored dyes that can be used to brighten your wardrobe.  Only one type of fruit, vegetable or plant is used to make the dye, but I thought I would list a variety in case there wasn’t access to a product that produced the desired color.

Strawberries, cherries, and raspberries will make variant shades of pink.  Beets and dandelion roots are good produce to make hues of red.  Of course, blueberries dye clothes blue. Red cabbage, grapes and elderberries will also make blue dye.

If wanting to create a green tint use grass, spinach, snapdragons or peppermint leaves.  For a yellow color the sunflowers, marigolds and dandelions work well.  If you are looking for a gold hue use red clover. 

Photo by Aaron Thomas on Unsplash

There are many more natural, fresh foods we can harvest and use as a dye.

Here are the directions for making dyes using fruits, vegetables or plants.

First chop your plant, vegetable or fruit into very small pieces.  Then place in an old pan that is holding twice as much water as chosen product.  Bring water and produce to the boiling point.  Remove from heat to allow produce soak in water.  Depending on the dye color desired let natural product set in water for an hour or overnight. Then strain to separate dye from the solid produce.  Discard solids.

It has been suggested to use cotton, silk or wool textile.  The fabric that is chosen should be placed in a salt solution or a vinegar solution.  If using a berry dye soak the material in a salt solution.  Dissolve one half cup salt in eight cups water.  The fabric used for all other plant dyes should by soaked in a vinegar mixture.  Combine one cup vinegar to four cups water.  Once fabric has soaked in either solution for an hour rinse textile in cold water.

Next have fun creating new and vibrant clothing.


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