We used beets, spinach, tumeric, and red cabbage to create a brilliant range of dye colors.

Updated August 10, 2017
Read step by step instructions after the video.
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What you need

Materials
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How to do it

Part 1

Step 1

To make the dye: Wearing gloves, chop up raw ingredients and place in a blender using a ratio of two cups of very hot (almost boiling) water to every two cups of raw material.

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Step 2

If using a spice, such as turmeric, add one to two tablespoons of spice to every two cups of hot water.

Step 3

(other materials I used included red cabbage (purple); beets (pink/red); spinach/parsley (green).

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Step 4

Blend mixture until it becomes a very fine slurry.

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Step 5

When done blending, strain mixture through a cheesecloth lined strainer.

Step 6

Dissolve 1 tablespoon of table salt in the liquid.

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Step 7

Decant into condiment bottles with a small funnel.

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Step 8

To prepare fabric for dyeing, wash fabric very well in the laundry as usual.

Step 9

Dry completely in dryer.

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Step 10

Use rubber bands to create a pattern on your shirt (or other cotton item such as socks, bag, onesie, etc.).

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Step 11

Pinch, pleat or fold fabric to make design.

Step 12

Once you're satisfied with your design, treat fabric with a fixative/mordant.

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Step 13

Mix 1 cup of salt with 16 cups of water and bring to a boil (or ½ cup of salt with 8 cups of water).

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Step 14

Simmer your fabric in this solution for one hour prior to dyeing.

Step 15

(If you are making a plant/veggie based dye, mix 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water and follow the same process).

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Step 16

When done simmering, run under cool water.

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Step 17

Wring out a bit of the excess water.

Step 18

To dye fabric: Wearing gloves, squirt dyes directly onto the fabric. (Tip: Plan to put adjacent primary colors (red, yellow, blue) or secondary colors like orange, green, and purple next to each other; in the areas where they run together, they will blend together and create a third color.)

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Step 19

Keep paper towels handy so dye doesn’t puddle or seep into an area where you plan to place another color. (Tip: The shirt could be placed on a baking rack when applying dye so it runs through; just be sure to place an old tray or newspapers under it.)

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Step 20

Once adequately dyed, place fabric into plastic bag and seal.

Step 21

Heat in microwave for 2 minutes on high on bed of paper towels or plate.

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Step 22

Take bag out of microwave and allow to cool completely overnight.

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Step 23

Once rested, rinse under cool water.

Step 24

Remove or cut rubber bands and hang to air dry completely

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Step 25

Then to further heat set the dye, run the item through the drier on high for about an hour.

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Step 26

Launder only by hand in a very mild detergent.

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