Learn about the fascinating world of natural plant dyes with this handy infographic…
If you’re interested in self-sufficiency and you enjoy crafty projects, growing and producing your own natural plant dyes may be right up your alley!
Humans have been using natural dyes made from plants to color clothing and other items for thousands of years, and it’s a great way to involve yourself in the process of creating colorful clothes for your family, using homemade dyes. Botanical dyes are earth-friendly and biodegradable, and are generally safe for the whole family to experiment with, so this can be a fun project to enjoy with your kids as well – and it’s a useful and interesting homesteading skill to learn!
Many common plants will produce lovely dye colors – either from the flowers, leaves, stems, fruits, or even the roots. While you can find many of these plants growing wild, if experimenting with natural plant dyes appeals to you, you may want to consider growing a dye garden full of plants which yield different specific colors.
The infographic below shares a number of common and easy-to-grow dye plants, along with the colors that can be made from each plant. You’ll also find instructions and tips for setting the dye (so that it stays in the fabric), as well as instructions for making a dye bath.
Remember that the type of fiber or fabric you use will also impact the final result. The best fabrics for natural dyes are natural fibers such as wool, hair, cotton, muslin, bamboo, and linen. But don’t limit yourself to just yarn or clothing! You can also dye things like silks, curtains, and even paper – as well as, of course, Easter eggs. Be creative and curious as you explore the world of natural plant dyes! For more information, you can also check out the book “A Garden to Dye For,” by Chris McLaughlin.