Natural Dyes on Cloth

Every year after we dye our eggs I have dye left. I always feel bad about sending them down the drain, because I feel like I’m wasting the dye. This year I saved the dye and tried dying t-shirt material that I scavenged from a friend’s used white t-shirts. I placed a teaspoon of alum into each of the jars to use as a mordant, and placed the cloths into each of the jars. The hibiscus and blueberry had the same color, so I tested each to see if borax would change the color by taking a sample of dye from the jar and adding borax to the dye sample. It changed the hibiscus dye to a turquoise color, so I added some borax to the hibiscus dye to give a better variety of color. I also added a teaspoon of salt to the blueberry to make the color last longer in the cloth.

I left each of the cloths in the dye for about 2 to 3 hours. Then I gave them a cold water rince, spun them in the washer to remove all the water, and dried them on high heat to help set the color. I was surprised by some of the colors. Some were very different from the colors that we achieved on the eggs. They have a certain beauty to them though with their light spring colors, and I am setting them aside to use for a weaving project or some other small handcraft project for our homeschooling.

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