Sunday, June 19, 2011

First Attempt with Natural Dye

Pomegranates are used extensively in India and the Middle East to obtain rich yellows, oranges and browns when dying textiles.  Here some rinds are soaking overnight.  I then strained and boiled the water in an aluminum pot for 45 minutes--I didn't have any alum mordant lying around and apparently the metal of the pot (copper or tin are used to create other colors) can do the trick. This was supposed to make yellow dye.

The results were interesting. On the left is wool, which is the easiest natural fiber to dye--this was white when I started. Cotton takes natural dye with difficulty and the lace in the middle, which is cotton, only got a slight distressed look.  There are two other types of lace that appear a little darker but the dying wasn't very successful on them either. On the far right is silk, which as an animal fiber takes natural dyes well. It went from almost white to champagne.

All in all, if I do this again, I'll have to invest in more paraphenalia for better results!


  1. It certainly gave it an aged look. Sounds like a fun adventure.

  2. I like the element of chance, and it worked out ok--this time!

  3. Wow! What an experiment! I love how you're going for the natural dyes. Also, this was the first time I'd ever heard about pomegranates for dye. Who knew?
    Sometimes the oldest traditions are the best.
    Very interesting post. Great pics!

  4. People are doing some really cool things with natural dyes these days. Glad you liked the post, Rose.