Texas Dandelion Dyeing: A Tutorial
Dyeing is the process of adding color to material. Until 1856, all dyes, paints and colors had to be taken from natural sources such as plants, animals and minerals.
The process of dyeing is quite simple:
- Soak the item to be dyed in mordant. Mordant makes the dye colorfast.
- Soak the item in dye.
- Heat to set the color.
- Let the item dry.
Texas Dandelion Dyeing
Texas Dandelions can be used to make a deep yellow/orange color. Follow the steps below to dye your own flour sack towel at home!
Supplies You’ll Need:
- Powdered alum
- Flour sack towels
- A non-reactive pot (stainless steel works well)
- Prepare the mordant.
- Combine 1 tsp. powdered alum with 1 cup of hot water.
- Add 4 cups of warm water to your pot.
- Add the alum mixture to your pot.
- Add a flour sack towel to the pot.
- Bring to a light boil and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Let the towel cool to room temperature.
- Pick and de-stem your flowers.
- Pick a bunch of Texas dandelions.
- Separate the yellow petals from the green leaves. You can discard or compost the leaves.
- You’ll need approximately one cup of dandelion heads to dye one towel.
- Start dyeing!
- Put the dandelion heads in a nonreactive pot.
- Add 3 cups of water to the pot; bring it to a boil and simmer for about 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, strain out the flowers (leaving only the dye in the pot).
- Add the towel from step one into the dye. Let it soak for at least one hour, keeping it at a slow boil the entire time. (The longer it soaks, the darker the color will be!)
- Hang your finished product up to dry!