I like my crafting experiments to be low risk. Dying fabric with natural ingredients fits that bill. I’m not going to accidentally stain my counters, no gloves needed, I can use my regular cookware for most of it. And I don’t need dramatic results or for my fabric to be colorfast. I never wash doll clothes because my samples are not getting played with and if it fades thats ok. There’s really no risk of the dyed fabric coming off on my cloth doll bodies, so far. So I love it! It’s fun and random (the way I’m doing it) and very pioneery which I love.
So far I’ve tried dried marigolds and avocado pit. This is the dried marigolds below simmering in the pot. I dyed a bath of fabric but didn’t love the results, too just tan so I dyed them again. I used less heat, kept it on super low and I pretreated the fabric by soaking it in aluminum acetate to be the mordant and wow, that brought the yellow. (before pic is below and after pic is at top) I also did a piece of Monaco cross stitch fabric and a piece of white wool (no mordant) and they came out a really pretty light yellow. The prints and the linen top came out dark yellow and I really like the result. Except on that plaid, it was a bust.
Dying with an avocado pit was super easy and I have no idea what I did, other than leave it soaking/simmering for hours. I used this vintage floral fabric and it turned a lovely light warm pink.
I made this sweet dress for Chloe from the fabric. I also dyed some Monaco with the avocado and love how it turned out as well.
Next I’m going to try onion skins and then madder root. If you have any other suggestions I’d love to hear them. Or a good book on the subject?
2 thoughts on “Experiments in natural dyeing for doll clothes”
Beautiful results! I love the book The Modern Natural Dyer by Kristine Vejar. You might find it at your local library if you don’t want to buy it.
I’ve have followed your blog for a very long time. Thank you for continuing with your blog since I know many of the other bloggers are no longer blogging. I love your ideas, landscaping, dolls etc. I ordered some of your embroidery patterns and your doll patterns–I also have your book. thanks again. -rebeca