by Melissa Jaramillo, Julie Snyder and Carol Jordan
Try out nature's very own dyes! Did you know that a great source for natural dyes can be found right outside your door? Roots, nuts and flowers are just a few common natural ways to make many colors. Yellow, orange, blue, red, green and brown are readily available. The natural ingredients make this process safe for children of all ages with no worries about toxicity. To dye fabric or eggs, the dye preparation is the same. Here are some plants for you to try.
Which colors would you like? To achieve the color in the highlight, try the plants listed below:
|Pale red||Bright yellow|
|Orange or lemon peels
|Ground tumeric||Yellow onion skins|
|Spinach leaves||Yellow delicious apple peels|
|Blue||Beige to brown|
|Canned blue berries
Red cabbage leaves
|Strong brewed coffee|
For dyes, gather blossoms in full bloom, berries when ripe and nuts mature.
To make the dye solution, chop plant material into small pieces and place in a pot. Use two parts of water to one part plant material. Bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour; strain the liquid to remove pieces of the dye material leaving only the colored liquid. Now you can use the dye. For a stronger shade, simply allow material to soak in the dye longer -- even over night!
Color fixatives will help the dye permeate (soak in to) a fabric. Two common color fixatives are salt fixative, for berry dyes and an acid fixative for plant dyes:
You're ready to dye some fabric now! (I suggest adult supervision handling hot solutions.)
Prepare: Add your fabric to the fixative, heat and simmer for an hour. Cool and squeeze out excess fixative. Rinse in cool water until water is clear.
Dye Bath: Place wet fabric in hot dye bath. Simmer together until desired color is obtained. The color of the fabric will be lighter when its dry, so leave in dye bath until it's a little darker than you want.
Rinse: Remove fabric from dye bath. Squeeze out as much dye as possible. Rinse in cool water until water is clear. Dry. Note that all dyed fabric should be laundered in cold water and separately.
Natural fabrics such as cotton, wool, silk and muslin work best for natural dyes. Whites or pastels show off their colors best.
Here's how you dye eggs!
Carol Jordan is the mother of 2 children. She has been a preschool teacher for 9 years and is working toward a CDA (Child Development Associate) an Early Childhood Education professional credential. Julie Snyder is a mom of six, interested in kids, pregnancy, birth, people and lives in the outlying Seattle area. Melissa Jaramillo is mom to many. She's passionate about building, encouraging, and strengthening families on this adventure known as parenthood!
Copyright © Melissa Jaramillo and Julie Snyder. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.