Dye Adventures – A Revisit

I have enjoyed dyeing clothes with a group of friends, but usually that is big batches and clothes. I wanted to experiement with natural dyes. It was almost Easter, so here go the eggs! We followed the recipes we found online for dyes, and it was pretty straightforward. It was however a little smelly! The onion smelled like my high school photography room. What’s that about? Don’t follow their recipe too closely though – our onions boiled dry and how exactly are you supposed to sieve out tumeric?

Dyes, ready to go

Once the dyes were done, we put our hard boiled eggs in and left them for an hour or more. The orange and yellow worked fairly well, but the pink was barely visible.

The eggs

Then we had leftover dye, and the activity said it could be used for cloth, so in went some very dirty singlets! It took a while – I soaked them in dye overnight, then left them in the bag overnight, then rinsed them out and washed them, then soaked them in salt (it’s supposed to help set the dye), then I washed them and dried them. And here they are!

The first dye batch

The left is onion. It is a very rusty brown. The middle is turmeric, it was bright yellow until it touched the soapy water, then it went brown too. Maybe a chemist can explain that to me? Anyway the right was the beetroot, and as you can see, it really didn’t work.

So I mixed the last of the turmeric and onion dye together and redyed it. And the result?

The mixed dye

I’m really pleased with he way they turned out. Now it has been a few years. The colours did not stay in especially well, but they weren’t too bad, really. And it was fun!


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