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How to make natural dyes 

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Photo by Jill Burrow from Pexels

If you are interested in dying your clothes it’s best to use natural dyes. Unlike their synthetic alternatives, natural dyes do not contain harmful chemicals and usually have antimicrobial properties. This makes them a lot safer to use when dying clothing, especially for children

  • Prep
  • General method 
  • Colours 

Prep

Making natural dyes is a messy process so it’s best to do some prep before you begin. Firstly, make sure that you protect your skin and clothing by wearing an apron and gloves. As the name suggests, natural dyes will dye any clothing or skin that they come in contact with so you must protect yourself from any potential spills. To protect your surfaces from the dye, lay down plenty of newspapers or a tablecloth. Once you have successfully protected yourself and the surrounding area, you are ready to begin making your dye.

Photo by Thirdman from Pexels

General method

To make your dye, per colour, you will need…

  • 700ml of water
  • Your chosen item to create the dye from
  • Saucepan
  • Sieve
  • A bowl for each dye

To begin making your natural dye pour 700ml of water into a saucepan with the item you are going to create your dye from. Cover your pan with a lid and bring to a boil.

When your water has reached boiling point, turn off the heat and leave your pan for 10 minutes. 

After 10 minutes, strain your water into a clean bowl using a sieve. In your bowl will be your dye, ready to use on any white item of your choice. 

To use the dye, simply add your white item and leave it for as long as you want. The longer you leave your item in the dye the darker it will be. Once you are satisfied with the colour, use a pair of tongs to remove the freshly dyed item from the bowl, and gently run it under cool water to remove the excess dye. Once you are satisfied that the excess dye has been removed, transfer your item to a clean surface and leave it to dry completely. 

Photo by Teona Swift from Pexels

Colours

Purple: To make purple use half a red cabbage

Blue: To make blue use half a red cabbage to make the initial dye, and add half a teaspoon of baking powder. 

Pink: To make pink use half a red cabbage to make the initial dye, and add the juice of half a lemon.

Red: To make red use one cooked beetroot. If you would like a stronger red, use two cooked beetroots.  

Yellow: To make yellow use a thumb-sized piece of turmeric. You can use half a teaspoon of ground turmeric, however, fresh turmeric will create a more vibrant shade of yellow.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels

Making dye and using it to re-invent your clothing is a much more fun way to spend your time than doing laundry. Book your Laundryheap order today by heading to the Laundryheap website or downloading the free Laundryheap app. 

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