Natural dyeing can be an excellent practice in the winter. I love dyeing Dahlias from the late summer months so that they can have a second life through some beautifully dyed garments.
I’d love to share one of my favorite methods with you as we will be steaming an eye mask with spices from your pantry and flowers from the yard.
- Large enamel pot for prepping your garment and steaming
- Steaming rack. I got mine here
- Spices, flowers (dry or fresh), and any other natural material for dyeing
- Rubber bands
I chose to use an eye mask in pure natural silk, but you can dye any natural fabric - silk, cotton, or linen all work well. I suggest preparing (mordanting) your material by mixing 1 part white vinegar to 4 parts water. Make sure your garment is completely submerged by water.
Simmer your fabric in this solution for one hour prior dyeing. When done simmering, run under cold water. Dry your garment thoroughly before steam dyeing.
Step 1. Prepare your mordanted garment for dyeing by laying it flat
Step 2. Lay out your dyeing materials. I’ll use dried Dahlias and Marigolds, Turmeric, and Logwood powder from Botanical Color for this tutorial.
Step 3. Start placing your dye materials on top of your garment. Have fun with this part of the process, botanical materials will imprint differently each time, and the result is unpredictable and unique.
Step 4. Roll your garment in a tight roll and secure it with a rubber band.
Step 5. Prepare a steaming rack for your rolled up garment. I got mine here. It is excellent for cooking as well :)
Step 6. Pour water into your pot. The water level should be below your steaming rack.
Step 7. Place your steaming rack in the pot with water and bring to a simmer.
Step 8. Close the lid and steam from 1-4 hours on low heat. Make sure to check on your water often to ensure it didn’t evaporate fully. If the water level gets too low, add water gradually throughout the steaming time.
Step 9. Carefully remove your hot steaming bundle with tongs and let it cool completely.
Preferably leave overnight, so the dye is absorbed fully and fabric dries out before unwrapping.
Step 10. Unwrap your bundle and rinse in cold water. Then dry and iron if needed. You’ll have a two-sided effect as the dye will permeate through the fabric layers.
Enjoy your sustainably enhanced garment!
Please share your steam dye results with me via Instagram @annamonetjewelry.