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How to make your own IRON WATER for natural dyeing.

Updated: Jun 11, 2021

Once you have dye your fabric, you can get more hues using a colour modifier.

You can change the colour of your fabric with different modifiers but for me, iron water is the winner.

Why? because you can do it at home, is easy to make and you only need a few ingredients.

Today I'm going to share a simple way to make Iron water and how to use it.

Iron water is a colour modifier, that help to change bright colours into darker ones, for example, Golds and yellows can turn into greys and blacks and pinks can turn into purples.

In general, Iron water will dull the dye.

Making Iron water

You are going to need:

  • A Glass container with a lid

  • rusty nails ( if you don't have any rusty nail you can use new ones)

  • 2 cups of water

  • 1 cup of white vinegar

Step 1

Pour into the glass container 2 cups of water and 1 cup of white vinegar, mix with a spoon.

Step 2

Add the nails to the mix. ( I'm using big nails, so I'm adding 10 nails, but if you have small ones, you can add more)

Step 3

Close the glass container, label it, so that everyone knows is iron water inside the container.

Leave it attendant for at least 3 weeks. You will notice that the liquid start to make brown bubbles and the nails will get very rusty, don't worry is normal.

Step 4

After 3 weeks your Iron water is ready and you can use it to modified fabric dye with natural colours.

How to used Iron water.

On a pot or container, pour enough water to cover the fabric you want to use

add two or three tablespoons of the iron water.

Then add your fabric, mix it so that all the fabric can take the iron water.

Leave it to act for 1 min; if you want a darker colour add more tablespoons of iron water.

Note: is better to start with small quantities of iron water, so you have more control of the final colour.

From pink to purple with iron water:

In the picture below, you can see how the dyed fabric with avocado skins change colour using different proportions of iron water.

❤ Laura


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