All tied up

Playschool this week had a segment through the windows where some kids were tie dyeing fabric. When we were on Home Education camp earlier this year the kids had the opportunity to tie dye their camp fest t-shirts and they had a lovely time. However, this time we were a little short on fabric dye. A quick look on Google revealed we did indeed have dye that can be used to dye cotton and so we prepared.

Firstly, Jasper had a white cotton t-shirt I’d purchased him when he was showing an interest in ballet. Sadly it lasted all of 3 weeks before we realised it wasn’t working and so this white t-shirt, now bearing the stains of 5yo boy was languishing in the cupboard. It had marks on it which meant it was no good wearing out but being white it was destined for further stains and general grubbiness if it was worn around the house.

Allegra had a cotton cardigan in the same state. It had been worn once to a wedding but again had a few stains and was white. Perfect! ๐Ÿ™‚

Allegra asked for purple (of course) and Jas wanted red and all sorts. Allegra I was able to oblige but Jas was informed he would be dyeing in yellow.

I did some reading and it looked like a colour fixative was needed first. Salt in water at a ratio of 1/3 cup salt to 8 cuts of water seemed what was needed. I had some of that horrid iodised table salt in a jar where it had languished since its last non-food usage (see here forย information on salt) so the jar is now depleted by 2/3 cup. ๐Ÿ™‚ I threw it into a stock pot with warm water and popped it on the wood stove. I then had dye to make.

Purple dye was created courtesy of a box of frozen blueberries. Most of the berries went in the pot with some water and onto the simmer it went. Yellow was somewhat easier. Turmeric. ๐Ÿ™‚ Turmeric has been used for centuries to create a lovely sunshiney yellow and I can attest to its colour fixing principles. That stuff stains! I threw some turmeric into a 3rd stock pot, added water and onto the stove it went.

A tin of elastics and we tied up the cardi and t-shirt then into the salt water they went to simmer for an hour. After the hour I took them out wiht rubber gloves, rung them out and threw them into their respective dyes to simmer for an hour.

Allegra’s dye wasn’t a particularly strong so I simmered it for an extra hour. Jasper’s was a gorgeous golden yellow so I took the topย out, wrung it out and had a look. The colour had worked very well but I’d tied it in such a way as to restrict the dye to most of the fabric so the t-shirt was predominantly white which defeated the purpose sadly so we re-tied it and threw it back in with some more turmeric to deepen the yellow.

Another hour for both and we had success. ย took out Jasper’s and wrung it out before cutting off the elastic bands. A-ha, success. ๐Ÿ™‚

Allegra’s also revealed success. ๐Ÿ™‚

I hung them up above the fire to dry overnight and 2 happy kids got dressed very quickly and with no argument this morning. ๐Ÿ˜€

Jas was simply NOT going to smile for the camera.

Jas was simply NOT going to smile for the camera.

And the back. The brown bits are the bits of turmeric that will come off (but hopefully not out) in the next wash.

And the back. The brown bits are the bits of turmeric that will come off (but hopefully not out) in the next wash.

A pale pinkish purple and a happy daughter.

A pale pinkish purple and a happy daughter.

The was another elastic on the bottom piecebut the elastics were old and it snapped coming out of the salt solution. I figured it didn't matter.

The was another elastic on the bottom piecebut the elastics were old and it snapped coming out of the salt solution. I figured it didn’t matter.

I can’t wait to play with colour again! ๐Ÿ˜€

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5 thoughts on “All tied up

  1. Pingback: A new post over at Pint Sized Permies | rabidlittlehippy

  2. A great tutorial for using natural dyes to tie-dye. Love the purple and also love that Jas refuses to perform for the camera…shows spirit! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Where’s Orik? I dare say what he gets up to in his day would dye most of his clothes by default ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Orik wasn’t interested and also didn’t have any white clothes to dye. I’m not silly. I know my kids aren’t white clothes kinds of kids. If they were playing in a totally clean and sterile white room they would still manage to get white clothes stained. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      The purple came out really well. I’m a bit nervous about washing both pieces as I’m unsure on colour fastness but both need a wash already so needs must. We’ll see. ๐Ÿ™‚

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