Fabric Fun! Natural Dye and Tie Die -- Crafty Weekends Fun and Link Party

This week we have been having fun with fabric and dye. Back in 2012, we experimented with sun dyeing wool yarn with various natural items. However Hazel really does not remember any of it and she inherited my wool allergy, so we never did anything with the yarn. I thought it would be fun to dye some cotton fabric and let her try it again. I also bought a tye die kit earlier this summer and have been wanting to let her try it. So this week we did natural sun dyeing and tie dyeing. 

We tie dyed t-shirts for Hazel, me, my father and her doll. Plus we took some t-shirts and camisoles she has grown out of that we will make doll clothes out of eventually. We tried to make hearts and stars, but ended up with ovals. However we like how they turned out!

Now for sun dyeing we tried all sorts of different natural dyes. Our first successful one was cranberries. I bought a bag of frozen cranberries. I put them in a pan with water. Roughly twice as much water as fruit. I heated the water and then let it simmer for a bit. Meanwhile I put some salt in water and simmered it as well. Then soaked the fabric in the salt water while it simmered to prepare it for the dye. We put the dye with the berries still in it in our large jar and added the fabric. We kept it in there overnight and are very happy with the color. The next morning I rinsed the fabric with cold water until there was no color coming from it and all the berry pieces were off.
Next we experimented with red cabbage! Now the experiment is preparing two jars of it--one with salt and the other with vinegar. The fabrics going in were prepared with each fixative.

To prepare the salt fixative I heated water and salt and then simmered it. I added the fabric and simmered it longer. Most tutorials I found on-line suggested half an hour to an hour or soaking. I did at least 15 minutes for each fabric.
To prepare the fabric for vinegar fixative, I put cider vinegar in cold water and added the fabric. Again I let it soak for at least 15 minutes but usually longer. (First I tried white distilled vinegar but had difficulty getting much color with it.)

For the red cabbage experiment, I put some red cabbage in two large jars and covered it with twice as much water. I also added some salt to one jar and some cider vinegar to the other jar. You could see the difference pretty quickly with how the red cabbage changes depending on which fixative you use. Since red cabbage is a pH indicator and the vinegar is an acid, it changes the natural purplish blue color to red. The colors came out as a light pink from the vinegar and light periwinkle blue from the salt. For the science behind it check out this post at Science Kiddo

We also dyed fabric with beets and with a mixture of roses (we used our beach roses), lavendar, lemon juice and a little mint. I cooked the beets in water and used vinegar for the fixative. I bought beet noodles so I wouldn't have to chop them. I had read not to boil the red dyes, but I think I may have heated this one up too much in the end. It turned a bit orangey.
I also had tried a few different items that were suppose to give us a green color. I think my mistake was not using alum as the fixative. I don't have any and our closest store didn't have any either. Below are jars of the rose mixture and the other has black-eyed Susans. Our black eyed Susans gave us a slight orange color. 

The next day we tried turmeric, spinach, raspberries, and cherries. 

I cooked hte raspberries and cherries for a bit, but for the most part I let the sun do the cooking. For the items I did not cook, I used boiling or close to boiling water and poured it over the substance then added a bit of the fixative (salt for the berries and vinegar for the plant/flowers) and the prepared fabric. The spinach did not work since I did not have the alum. Surprisingly the raspberry gave a darker pink than the cherry.
Fabrics dyed with raspberries, turmeric and cherries (in that order)
I also experimented with fabrics. Some of these fabrics included white on white fabrics. This is how you can see the stars on the raspberry fabric. I love how it came out. Now we are going to use these fabrics to make some sort of quilt--either something for Hazel's dolls or a wallhanging. Stay tuned ot see what they become!

It is time to see what you have been creating! Thank you to everyone who shared with us last party. It was a fun party with lots of creativity shared! Below are a few of the features from our party. Please remember for your child-oriented crafts, activities, lessons, etc. Sharing Saturday is going on!! We have started having a monthly Sharing Saturday party for the summer, so keep coming back and sharing!  I can't wait to see what your latest creations!!


1) From The Scrap Shoppe: Vinyl Cross-Stitch Wall Art

2) From Anika's DIY Life: Kids Room Decor using Deco Foil

3) From Fresh Vintage by Lisa S.: DIY Chalkboard from Thrift Store Print & Chalk Stencil Technique

4) From Create and Babble: Paper Rosette Fall Wreath

5) From Sparkle Living: Black and White Stenciled Kitchen Towel

6) From Duct Tape and Denim: DIY Recipe Box

7) From The Handyman's Daughter: Circular Saw Storage Rack

8) From Refresh Living: DIY Raised Garden Bed

Thank you to everyone who shared the last week!! I hope you will share again!! If you are featured here, please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog. I would love the help spreading the word about Crafty Weekends!!