If you're new to the world of natural dyeing, don't be scare about the material or tools you may need, I put together a list of the 5 basics things you need to dye with natural colours.
1- NATURAL FABRIC OR YARN
When dyeing with botanical colours, the selection of the fabric is an essential step.
Some textiles are not suitable for this technique.
For example, synthetic fabric like polyester or acrylic doesn't work with natural dyes.
Natural colours only bind with natural textile fibre, which means a fabric created using a vegetable or animal source.
There are two different types of Natural Fiber: Cellulose and proteinic.
Cellulose fabrics are made using a vegetable source such as cotton and linen. Cellulose fabrics take the colour well but need a little more preparation.
When the fabric is made using animal sources is know as Proteinic-based fabric, the most common are Wool and silk.
Proteinic-based fabric tends to give brighter colours than cellulose fabrics and need let preparation.
2- STAIN-STEEL POT
The pot is a necessary tool for natural dye, is needed to prepare the fabric, extract the colour, and dye the fabric.
I recommend using a stain-steel pot or a glass pot (for small quantities).
Because the material of the pot can modify the final colour of the fabric, however, you can use this idea to experiment with different pots material; an example is aluminium pots that help to produce brighter, more vibrant colours. And some people used it as a mordant technique.
So the selection of the right pot is more a personal choice; the only rule is not to mix your dyeing pots with the ones in your kitchen; always keep them separately.
Attention: do not mix your dyeing pots with the ones in your kitchen; always keep them separately.
3- MORDANT OR BINDER
To have long-lasting and rich results, you have to pretreat the fabric using a mordant or a binder.
The most common mordant is Potassium alum, which you can buy in organic stores (where are sales as a natural deodorant) There is another technique called "binder" that helps cellulose fabric to act like proteinic fabric, taking the colour more easily
In this method, you prepared the textile using soy milk.
Check my youtube video How to binder with soy milk to know more about this process.
4- WOOD SPOONS
Botanical colours will dye everything made for a natural source, so wood spoons are no exception.
This is why is a good idea to use a wooden spoon for each colour or at least one for dark colours such a brown and red and other for light colours like yellow and beige.
5- GLASS CONTAINERS
When you finish natural dyeing your fabric, sometimes, you notice that the bath still have colour on it; you can store the rest of the dye on a simple glass container (like the jam and mayonnaise ones) and use it on a second bath or do a lake pigment.
Remember to label your jar, although the process is all-natural, is not safe to mix the dyeing with your food.
and THAT IS ALL!
You only need to have these 5 things in order to start your natural dye journey.
All the materials and tools you need to dye with natural colours are cheap and easy to find, they don't cost more than 20£ each; (click on each image to buy it on Amazon UK)
Remember to use these utensils only for dyeing purposes, don't switch them with the ones you used to cook.
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