Last Updated on October 17, 2018
It’s Fashion Revolution Week and one aspect I love is the Haulternative campaign which promotes secondhand shopping, vintage, mending, renting, DIY – basically avoiding buying new clothes for a more sustainable and conscious wardrobe. 💚
This year I polled my Patrons about what they would like to see as a Haulternative and ended up creating a video about how to naturally dye your clothes!
I dyed an old cotton skirt (which was also originally dyed with coffee) using yellow onion skins, and a silk top from the thrift store with purple cabbage. This is a very simplified and easy version of natural dyeing, but here’s what I did:
- Collect and cut raw dye material into pieces
- Put in a large pot* and cover with about 2 parts water
- Simmer for about 45-60 minutes
- Strain out dye material
- Add garment to dye water
- Stir gently
- Let sit 12-24 hours, occasionally stirring
- Remove garment and rinse to get rid of dye
- Let air dry
*you shouldn’t use equipment you cook with for dyeing
Like I mentioned in the video, protein fibres work best and only dye natural materials. Also if you want the dyes to be even and more colourfast you should properly scour (especially for undyed materials) and mordant the fabric.
Natural dyeing is really fun to experiment with and I love how you can never be totally sure how it will turn out! A few other easily accessible foods you can use for dyeing are:
- Coffee (brown)
- Tea (brown)
- Turmeric (yellow)
- Avocado pits (light pink)
- Red onion skins (orange/red-brown)
- Most berries (purple/pink shades)
Some more DIY projects to inspire you to create or transform your wardrobe:
New to sewing? Check out Joan’s easy skirt tutorial.
Join in the fringe trend but instead of buying new, make your own fringed denim with Leah’s tutorial.
Add cute embroidered flowers to your clothes with Fashion Revolution’s video.
Or check out Coolirpa’s Thrifted Transformation series for tons of ideas on updating thrift finds.