Thursday, May 12, 2011

kcwc: sort of, or, it's a natural way to dye

Ok, I didn't sew at all last night.  We opted for family art night, which sounds so quaint, but it was just a spontaneous occurrence.  It was fun, all of us sitting round the table coloring and drawing, till all 'h.e.double toothpicks' broke loose as a result of a certain 2.5 year old's lack of napping.  So then we all chilled in our jammies and listened to Dan read, My Side of the Mountain.  I swear, Dan and I are more into this book than the kids.  (Did you know you can eat cattail?! I'm totally going to try it. This book is a treasure trove of survivalist info.)  After the kids got in bed, I was too pooped to sew, so we continued out Parks & Rec marathon. I have no idea how I didn't realize this show was funny till a couple weeks ago.  Anyways, like I said, I didn't sew, but I did have a project I worked on this week that sorta fits in a kids clothes week, as it's a kid's shirt.  I just didn't sew it.

It seems like tie-dye is coming back into vogue these days.  Well, in certain circles. I was doing laundry and have a bunch of little boy undershirts that should really be tossed in the rag bag, but I wondered if I could dye them.  Not wanting to go buy anything to dye the shirts, I started looking up natural fabric dyes.  There are many recipes for those, but no clear instructions on how to naturally tie-dye.  So here's what I did. 
Dingy t-shirt.
Twisted up, like so.
Ooops, rewind.  The t-shirt is supposed to be wet, so I soaked it, wrung it out, twisted it up again, then put 4 rubber bands on it to make some nice little wedges to dye.  I only made two dyes.
Yellow: 2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 cup water.  Simmered for about 7-10 minutes.
Purple: 1/4 blueberries, 1/2 water, 1 tsp salt.  Simmered for about 15 min and crushed berries.  Then strained through a fine sieve.
Then I just spooned the dye over alternating wedges until I used up all the dye.  I let it sit for about 6 hours before I decided I just couldn't wait any more and needed to know whether it actually worked.  Rinsed it out and hung dry.
ta-da! It did! The back looks way better than the front, but I suspect it's because the back was less stained than the front.
Here's the front.  You can still see the dinge and stains.  So my initial goal of salvaging rag-bag bound shirt failed, but hey, I figured out how to tie-dye with all natural, homemade dye.  The big boys want to help tie dye this afternoon, so we'll use clean shirts this time;)


oonaballoona said...

very cool! i actually think you've disguised the stains, as far as i can tell...

i'm very interested to hear what cattails taste like.

~Beth D. said...

i love it! does the dye hold up in the wash?

Kelly said...

Hi Beth, yes it does, but I use soap nuts, not detergent, so I'm not sure if that would make a difference.