I really enjoyed researching natural dyeing processes. I dyed some knitting wool a few years ago using natural dyes and I also have a good bit of experience dying wools with acid dyes, Kool Aid and Easter Egg Dyes. But we were going to be dyeing 100% cotton. I really wanted the children to be able to dye with natural dyes but after making some samples, I realized that in most cases, the fibers have to sit in the dye bath for at least an hour or longer. But there was one natural dye that worked perfectly and I loved working with it - Indigo! I found an Indigo Dye Kit at JoAnn's and gave it a try. It has a long history and indigo dyed fabric has even been found in some Egyptian tombs so I know that it would have been available in Nazareth during the time of Jesus. The best part about using the indigo is that the dye chemically bonds to the fibers as soon as it is lifted from the water with no long soaking times.
My daughter and I dyed some long pieces of muslin for our costumes and we tye-dyed as many different white shirts as we could find in our closets.
|Tye-dyed shirts fresh from the indigo vat.|
|Natural dyes (left to right): Turmeric, coffee, red cabbage, yellow and red onion skins. Also, an Indgo plant (in green pot)|