Dye your textiles with food waste and make use of everything from old flowers to foliage.
There is endless colour potential in your kitchen and bundle dyeing is a really easy and fun way to transfer that colour to fibre. Using teas, old flowers, vegetable foliage, berries and multiple other things, you can give your fabrics a new lease of life.
Natural dyes are often described as “living colours” and it’s true. They have a charm and personality very unlike synthetic dyes. They are really easy to work with and non-toxic. They will never have the same permanence as synthetic dyes; they often change or vary over time.
In this step-by-step course with photographs and instructions, you’ll learn how to do a simple bundle dye technique onto fabric with food waste from your kitchen with Ceilidh Chaplin from BillyNou.
Ceilidh says: “Bundle dyeing with plants can really open up your creativity. It encourages play and experimentation whilst deepening your relationship to nature and it’s alchemy.”
- How to dye fabric with food
- How to bundle dye
- Which plants and vegetables make the best dye
- The best fabrics for natural dyeing
The results of bundle dyeing with food waster are pure magic and the nature of this process makes it perfect for professional projects or fun family activities.
How is this textile dyeing course taught?
What do I need to complete this course?
You'll need the following materials and tools:
- Some thoroughly cleaned pre-wetted natural fibre to dye. Animal fibre like silk or wool will work best but plant fibres do work too.
- Any food waste from your kitchen that you fancy trying to make magic with. Some good examples are: Tea, coffee, turmeric, onion skins and red cabbage.
- A pot to steam your fibre. Keep pots that you use to dye separate from ones you use to cook.
- Vinegar - an acid PH that tends to brighten colours
- Spray bottle
- Undyed twine or elastic bands.
- Wooden or stainless steel tongs to turn hot bundles
- PH neutral soap – a lot of natural dyes are PH sensitive
- A rod or stick – used to wrap fabric around.
- Iron powder or water (Ferrous sulphate) – used as a colour modifier and mordant. You can buy powder or make your own. It is essentially rust, so you could just use a rusty nail or paper clip but if you want to make iron water it is very easy. Just add 2 parts water, 1 part vinegar to some rusty nails in a jar and wait 1-2 weeks. Iron tends to dampen colours and a little goes a very long way. Use sparingly and dilute with water.
- Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a base and can be used to modify colours that are sensitive to PH. Purple cabbages is a good one for this.
Ceilidh Chaplin is the founder of BillyNou, a brand born out of a desire for comfort and sustainability. They are passionate about clothing that is low impact and easy to wear and believe that slowness is a great recipe for anything life. Heirloom garments are a great anchor for stories and memories, in which their clothes can be woven into and is essential in encouraging a little more thoughtful consumerism.